- Obama’s regulatory agenda will cost U.S. economy $143B next year: report
- Patriot Act author on James Clapper: Fire, prosecute him
- Russia P.M. Medvedev: No amnesty for political prisoners
- Michigan GOP Senate hopeful reminds government is the ‘servant’
- Christmas, by Congress: Members mull a 15-cent tax on trees
- U.S. unemployment falls to five-year low of 7 percent; 203K jobs added
- World mourns Nelson Mandela and celebrates his life; burial set for Dec. 15
- Bill O’Reilly reminds: Nelson Mandela ‘was a communist’
- John Boehner says GOP should support gay candidates: ‘I do’
- Grass-Whopper: Pan-fried cricket burgers go over big in New York City
N.Y. judge: Anti-gay marriage law is unconstitutional
Question of the Day
NEW YORK — A federal judge in Manhattan joined a growing chorus of judges across the country Wednesday by striking down a key component of the federal law that defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman.
U.S. District Judge Barbara Jones said the Defense of Marriage Act’s definitions “intrude upon the states’ business of regulating domestic relations” by re-examining the marriage definitions by the various states - six of which, plus the District of Columbia, recognize gay marriages.
“That incursion skirts important principles of federalism and therefore cannot be legitimate, in this court’s view,” Judge Jones said.
The ruling came in a case brought by Edith Windsor, a woman whose partner died in 2009, two years after they married in Canada. Because of the federal law, Ms. Windsor didn’t qualify for the unlimited marital deduction on her late spouse’s estate and was required to pay $363,053 in federal estate tax. Ms. Windsor sued the government in November 2010.
The government declined to comment through Ellen Davis, a spokeswoman for government attorneys in Manhattan.
“It’s thrilling to have a court finally recognize how unfair it is for the government to have treated us as though we were strangers,” Ms. Windsor said of her 44-year relationship with Thea Spyer.
The ruling came just days after a federal appeals court in Boston found the law’s denial of federal benefits to same-sex couples unconstitutional. The decision by the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a federal judge’s 2010 ruling. In California, two federal judges found this year that the law violates the due-process rights of legally married same-sex couples. The issue is likely to reach the Supreme Court.
James Esseks, director of the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual & Transgender Project, said the ruling “adds to what has become an avalanche of decisions that DOMA can’t survive even the lowest level of scrutiny by the courts.”
In court papers filed in August, a lawyer for the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the U.S. House of Representatives defended the role of the federal government in defining marriage.
“While it is true that regulating the details of traditional marriage historically has been left to the states, it also is true that the federal government has been involved with and injected itself into marriage law when states have deviated from the traditional definition,” wrote attorney Paul D. Clement on the group’s behalf.
“Thus, for instance, the United States Congress banned polygamy in United States territories when faced with widespread plural marriage in the Utah Territory.”
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- Activists urge Obama to go rogue, sidestep Congress
- Colorado judge: Bakery owner discriminated against gay couple
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- PRUDEN: British press horrified as London's new mayor dares to proclaim the truth
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Rush Limbaugh: Obama trying to make Mandela death about himself
- Obama administration issues permits for wind farms to kill more eagles
- Obamas call to close Vatican embassy is 'slap in the face' to Roman Catholics
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Get in the middle of all the action inside and outside the boxing ring.
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
How does our 50th state view D.C. politics?
White House pets gone wild!