NSCLC joined in an amicus brief filed by Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) on Friday, March 01, 2013 in the Supreme Court of the United States in support of Edie Windsor’s constitutional challenge to Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The brief outlines the ways in which LGBT elders are especially hurt by discrimination against same-sex couples as embodied in DOMA. SAGE was also joined in the brief by the American Society on Aging, National Hispanic Council on Aging, National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives, and the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center.
Windsor, 83, and her spouse Thea Spyer were a committed couple who got engaged in 1967 and were finally able to legally marry 40 years later. When Spyer passed away after a long battle with multiple sclerosis, Windsor was forced to pay a large estate tax that she would not have had to pay had she been married to a man. Windsor sued the federal government for failing to recognize her marriage. While there are very few same sex couples who are affected by the estate tax, Windsor’s case highlights the real harms that DOMA causes legally married older same-sex couples of more modest means.
The Supreme Court will hear United States v. Windsor on March 27, a day after hearing a case challenging California’s Proposition 8. The full press release with links to other background material is online.