wedding hell

Federal Government Hit With 2 New Federal DOMA Challenges

A pair of new lawsuits — one each from Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders and the American Civil Liberties Union — are taking on the Defense of Marriage Act, the federal law behind fun things like not being able to file joint tax returns and not being able to sponsor your partner for immigration papers.

While the Obama administration appeals the Massachusetts rulings that declared DOMA unconstitutional, DoJ now has two new challenges to deal with.

The two new lawsuits, which involve plaintiffs from New York, Connecticut, Vermont and New Hampshire, expand the attack geographically and also encompass more of the 1,138 federal laws and regulations that the Defense of Marriage Act potentially affects — including the insurance costs amounting to several hundred dollars a month in the case of [Joanne Pedersen and Ann Meitzen, pictured, who were denied shared federal health insurance], and a $350,0000 estate tax payment in the A.C.L.U. case.

The civil liberties union filed suit on behalf of Edith S. Windsor, whose spouse, Thea C. Spyer, died last year of aortic stenosis. The two women, New Yorkers who had been together for 44 years, married in Toronto in 2007. New York officially recognizes same-sex marriages performed in other states. Had the two been man and wife, there would have been no federal estate tax to pay.

And if you’re wondering how the Obama administration will react, it’ll go like this: He believes DOMA to be discriminatory, and would love to see a legislative repeal of the law. At some point.

In the meantime, Windsor and Spyer — who appeared in the documentary Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement — would like a check for $350,000, OKTHXBI.

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  • Pitou

    To all the people fighting this legal fight.. My generation thanks you, and we (at least I) will continue to do so for the rest of our (my) lives (life).

    THIS is what’s going to get rid of DOMA. Not that crock of a President, not the Bullshit that is our House and Senate, and MOST CERTAINLY NOT GAY, INC!

  • T

    I’m glad this is being challenged. Any law denying citizens equal rights is wrong. It seems we must learn this lesson again and again.

  • Markie-Mark

    @Pitou: You are exactly right. I’m hoping that gays will flood the courts with such law suits. It will be the only way for us to get our rights in spite of that fierce bigot in the White House.

  • customartist

    Gay Rights will be gained via the Courts, not via the Legislatures.

    Now is the time to stop contributing to Political Campaigns, and to start making contributions to Gladd, the ACLU, and to Lambda Legal. Congressmen are beholding to their constituents, and Gays are too controversial for them to support.

    These are the entities that will make progress on our issues, not those who are lobbying Congress.

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