5:51pm

Wed June 26, 2013
Politics and Government

A.G. Schneiderman reacts to DOMA decision

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman called today's Supreme Court decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, a home run.

"The decision by Justice [Anthony] Kennedy recognized that it is a violation of equal protection of the law for the federal government to discriminate against one class of marriages, to discriminate against one class of people," Schneiderman said. "[He] recognized the harm to the children, and there are hundreds of thousands of kids across America now being raised by same sex couples, so that was an undiluted victory."

New York state was one of 15 states who filed a "friend of the court" brief in the DOMA Supreme Court case.

The case was brought to the Supreme Court by New York resident Edie Windsor, who married her partner in Canada and filed suit after the federal government denied her estate tax exemptions after her partner died.

"It was an incredible victory not just for Edith Windsor, who now gets $363,000 plus interest and taxes back from the federal government that was denying it to her and now gets her rights vindicated," Schneiderman said. "She was in a relationship for more than 40 years.  But it's for all of us in America who believe the mission of our country is a steady march toward ever greater equality and ever greater justice."

New York had argued that DOMA violates the equal protection component of the Fifth Amendment.

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