Defense Of Marriage Act

The Brian Lehrer Show

Why Marriage is the Ultimate Battle for Gays

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Roberta Kaplan, the lawyer who argued Edie Windsor's challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act in front of the Supreme Court, talks about the current gay rights cases making their way through the legal system and why she thinks the next big Supreme Court decisions about same-sex marriage may come from cases in states like Ohio, Virginia and Utah. “Because being gay is about who you love, and being married in our legal system is the representation or manifestation of that, I think that in a lot of ways, marriage is the ultimate battle,” Kaplan said. Hear whether she thinks the Supreme Court will decide soon whether Americans have a Constitutional right to same-sex marriage.

TONIGHT: Roberta Kaplan will be speaking with Edie Windsor and comedian and actress Judy Gold at the 92Y at 8:15 p.m.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Previewing Big Decisions at the Supreme Court

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Adam Liptak, the Supreme Court correspondent for The New York Times, previews the big cases the U.S. Supreme Court will rule on before the end of the term in June.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Supreme Court Same-Sex Marriage Arguments: Day 2

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Supreme Court heard arguments on the constitutionality of the 1996 law, the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). President Clinton signed it, but no longer supports it and neither does President Obama's justice department. Emily Bazelon, senior editor at Slate and panelist on Gabfest Radio, dissects yesterday's arguments.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

DOMA in Court; Mayoral Race Update; Value of Cooperation

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Yesterday the Supreme Court shifted its focus from Proposition 8 to the Defense of Marriage Act. Slate's Emily Bazelon provides analysis of the arguments for and against its constitutionality and takes your calls on the week's proceedings and the future of same-sex marriage. Plus: David Chen of the New York Times discusses his piece on Christine Quinn as part of a reporters' roundtable on the latest mayoral race news; the value of cooperation as a skill; and why women in their 20s feel conflicted about sexual freedom.


Listen and Read: Supreme Court DOMA Arguments

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Listen to the full audio of oral arguments made before the Supreme Court about the Defense of Marriage Act and read an entire transcript of the remarks. 

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David Boies on Gay Marriage Hearings: Premature to Predict Prop 8's Future

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

David Boies is the lead counsel on the constitutional challenge to California's Proposition 8, the state's same-sex marriage ban that went before the Supreme Court on Tuesday. 

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NY Appeals Court Nixes Defense of Marriage Act

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A divided federal appeals court in Manhattan struck down the Defense of Marriage Act Thursday as unconstitutional, joining an appeals court in Boston in rejecting the law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman. The Supreme Court is expected to take up the case in the next year.


It's A Free Blog

Opinion: Paycheck Fairness Act Key to Progressive Full-Court Press

Monday, June 04, 2012

With the recent push for the Paycheck Fairness Act, a progressive and important idea is actually driving the debate. Now's not the time to slow down.

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Days After Obama's Support of Same-Sex Marriage, Congressional Group Seeks to Block DOMA Lawsuit

Monday, May 14, 2012

Just days after President Barack Obama declared his support of gay marriage, a standing body of the U.S. House of Representatives will try to block an attempt by five legally married same-sex couples to strike down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA.

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It's A Free Country ®

Immigration Policy Shift for Transgendered Community

Monday, April 16, 2012

Immigration officials will now issue immigration documents which reflect an individual’s gender identity, so long as they present “an amended birth certificate, passport, or court order recognizing their new gender," is welcome news for the transgender community and its allies.


The Empire

AG Schneiderman joins suit against DOMA

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

  (Courtesy of the Attorney General's office)

New York continues to be at the center of the national debate over same-sex marriages, after New York's attorney general Eric Schneiderman filed a friend-of-the-court brief today arguing the unconstitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

“The federal Defense of Marriage Act clearly violates the principle of equal justice under law as enshrined in the U.S. Constitution and improperly intrudes on the traditional role of states in defining marriage,” Attorney General Schneiderman said in a statement. “The State of New York has long recognized out-of-state, same-sex marriages and the enactment of the Marriage Equality Act further cements our state’s position on this critical civil rights issue My office will fight every day to defend the fundamental guarantee of equal protection under law for all New Yorkers.”

Schneiderman has been vocal in his support of same-sex marriage rights, and will be defending the state senate Republican's vote to allow same-sex marriage in New York against a lawsuit filed New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms yesterday. Rev. Jason J. McGuire of NYCF said the AG's move today put him in an "interesting position."

"I think it does put the attorney general in the smack dab in the middle,” McGuire said.

Donna Lieberman, the New York Civil Liberties Union's executive director, called the move "significant" and a continuation of Schneiderman's work as a legislator and candidate for attorney general.

"The attorney general’s decision to weigh in on the DOMA case compliments the political leadership New York has taken enacting the Marriage Equality Act," Lieberman said. "It helps establish the popular support for marriage equality and helps change the conversation."

Specifics from the attorney general's office on today's filing:

Schneiderman filed the papers in federal court in support of the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment in the case of Windsor v. United States. The plaintiff, Edie Windsor, was married in Canada in 2007 to her partner, Thea Spyer, who died two years later.

Following Spyer’s death, the federal government refused to acknowledge the couple’s marriage under DOMA and taxed the resulting inheritance accordingly. Windsor then filed suit, challenging the constitutionality of DOMA and seeking a refund of the estate taxes she was forced to pay as a result of the federal government’s refusal to recognize her marriage.

In the amicus curiae brief, Schneiderman argues that in redefining the term marriage, Section 3 of DOMA violates the equal protection component of the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause, and must therefore be invalidated. He goes on to argue that the statute is an improper intrusion on the traditional role of states in defining marriage; that it discriminates based on sex and sexual orientation and therefore must be subjected to heightened scrutiny; and that DOMA fails any level of scrutiny because it does not advance any legitimate federal interest.

Disclosure: Schneiderman’s father, Irwin Schneiderman, is a member of the WNYC Board of Trustees and has been a long-time donor to the station.

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The Takeaway

Law Firm Won't Defend the Defense of Marriage Act

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Republicans and Democrats have been fighting over the Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law denying federal benefits to same sex partners. The House had hired the law firm, King & Spalding, to defend the law in court as DOMA faces constitutional challenges from gay rights group. However, the firm has dropped the House as a client, saying they won't argue the case. The firm didn't offer a concrete reason for its move; however, Takeaway Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich explains that gay rights groups, including the Human Rights Campaign were getting ready to launch a major campaign against the firm.


It's A Free Country ®

DOMA Done?

Thursday, February 24, 2011


The nation has shifted very quickly and I think Obama understands that, and when he talks about his own struggle with these issues, and how he's evolving on these issues in the same way the nation is, I think that's what he's getting at.

Kenji Yoshino, Chief Justice Earl Warren Professor of Constitutional Law at NYU School of Law.

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