New York City’s Mayor, Michael Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn plan to file a joint legal bring supporting a local widow’s challenge of The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as unconstitutional.
Edie Windsor, a New Yorkers, has sued the US Government. She is suing for being forced to pay $363,000 in estate taxes for her wife, Thea Spyer. Heterosexual couples are not forced to pay estate taxes on late spouses, according to tax codes.
According to the New York Daily News, Bloomberg said of the DOMA law “It deprives married gay New Yorkers of equal protection of the laws, and we are filing a brief to support the case against it.”
Bloomberg and Quinn's brief will support the claim that the law violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.
The Irish American, City Council Speaker, and mayoral hopeful, Quinn said “As Courts across the country continue to strike down DOMA's unconstitutional assault on our civil liberties, I'm proud to join Mayor Bloomberg and the chorus of voices that have called to repeal DOMA once and for all.
Speaking to the New York Times she said “Sometimes it takes elected officials longer to get there than the American public...But I really believe the American public wants Edith to be treated the way that any widow would be treated.”
Quinn is a lesbian who married her partner, Kim Catullo, last month.
On 6th June Windsor, an 83-year old widow, from Greenwich Village, won her initial trial when the US District Court/Southern District of New York ruled DOMA to be unconstitutional.
The Defense of Marriage Act prohibits same-sex couples from receiving some marriage-based benefits afforded to heterosexual couples, such as health care, joint filing of taxes and inheritance tax exemptions.
After the court ruling Windsor said “I didn't want anybody to have to repeat what I experienced when Thea died.”
She continued “The win ... just thrilled and elated me."