New York Challenges Defense of Marriage Act

The attorney general says the law violates equal protection guarantees

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Only days after New York witnessed its first same-sex marriages, the state's attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, has filed a brief in support of a challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act, according to The New York Daily News. Schneiderman (pictured above) argues that the law, which  prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages and hence denies married gay couples federal benefits, "violates the equal protection guarantees, is an improper [trampling] of states' rights, and discriminates based on sex and sexual orientation," according to the paper. The original suit was filed by Edie Windsor of New York, who had to pay estate taxes after her married partner died after they were married in Canada in 2007. You can find the brief here. Meanwhile, though unrelatedly, opponents of New York's own same-sex marriage law are also suing to overturn that law. That news came yesterday.

The San Francisco Chronicle explains today while President Obama has said the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional, directed the Justice Department to stop defending it, and called for a congressional repeal of the law, he's still enforcing it until a court strikes the law down. Several other legal challenges to the act are currently being considered in federal courts around the country.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.