The White House has filed a brief with the Supreme Court to void what is viewed as a unconstitutional section of the Defense of Marriage Act.
Solicitor General Donald Verrilli told the high court that laws concerning gay people, an “unpopular group,” should face heightened scrutiny and that DOMA’s Section 3 — which keeps the federal government from recognizing same-sex couples legally married in states — is unconstitutional.
“Section 3 of DOMA violates the fundamental constitutional guarantee of equal protection,” wrote Verrilli. “The law denies to tens of thousands of same-sex couples who are legally married under state law an array of important federal benefits that are available to legally married opposite-sex couples. Because this discrimination cannot be justified as substantially furthering any important governmental interest, Section 3 is unconstitutional.”
Edie Windsor, 83, brought the case. She married Thea Spyer in 2007 after being engaged for 40 years. Upon Spyer’s death in 2009, Windsor found herself liable for $600,000 in taxes she would not have had to pay were she a man.