<a href=”http://www.afj.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/audio_analysis.png”><img style=”margin: 15px;” alt=”audio_analysis” src=”http://www.afj.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/audio_analysis-150×150.png” width=”150″ height=”150″ /></a>Section 3 of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) denies more than a thousand different different federal rights to legally-married same-sex couples. Those benefits range from Social Security death benefits to the right to take family medical leave. DOMA even can separate spouses of different nationalities.
DOMA also has an impact on estate taxes. DOMA prohibited the federal government from recognizing the marriage of Edith Windsor to her lifelong partner, Dr. Thea Spyer. As a result, Ms. Windsor was hit with a huge bill for inheritance taxes. Ms. Windsor sued, arguing that Section 3 of DOMA violates the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection. Now age 83, Ms. Windsor has taken the case all the way to the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court in Windsor has the ability to finally recognize that discrimination against LGBT Americans violates the Constitution. Alternatively, the Court could hold that DOMA violates the power of states to define the rights and benefits of their LGBT citizens.