MyDivorcePapers Blog

We're here to make your life easier to manage and to help you begin your new start.

The Battle to Define Marriage Continues in NYGender, equality, and same-sex marriage have been amorphous topics throughout our modern times.  When it comes to laws and court rulings, these topics have gained social traction. With the Obama administration changing its stance in support of gay marriage, now seems the time when supporters would have the most leverage. Supporters of gay rights have long fought the standing rulings and laws that have attempted to define the parameters of marriage, along with all the legal benefits and rights, as a legal union between two people. Wednesday of last week, a new step was taken in the state of New York, where formerly the law defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

Unconstitutional Defense?

The Defense of Marriage Act, which is increasingly coming under scrutiny, was passed in 1996 and has made the fact that even though New York has legalized gay marriage, Federal law and government programs still do not recognize those marriages. The Obama administration has come out and said that they consider the law unconstitutional and would no longer defend it. However, a group appointed by the Republican Majority in the House of Representatives has taken to defending the law in courts across the country.

The specific case that will be heard against the Defense of Marriage Act centers around a case beginning in 1967. Edith Windsor, now an 83 year old woman, and her fiance at the time, Thea Clara Spyer, became engaged in 1967 and were married in Toronto in 1997. Spyer, who passed away in 2009 after a long fought battle with multiple sclerosis, left all her property to Windsor. Because of the Defense of Marriage Act, Windsor has had to pay $363,000 in federal estate taxes in order to obtain the property, according to her lawsuit. In June a federal district judge ruled in favor of Windsor, stating that the Defense of Marriage act discriminates against married couples of the same-sex. Windsor’s attorney has asserted that the act, in fact, violates the 14th Amendment of the Constitution, which guarantees equal protection under law.

Appealing Up the Judicial Ladder

The group fighting against the federal court’s ruling against recognizing gay marriage has appealed it to the 2nd U.S. circuit Court of Appeals. The appeal was expedited due to the poor health of Windsor, who suffers from a serious heart condition that could threaten her life. Windsor’s attorney has also petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case and make a ruling before the hearing with the Circuit Court. There are several other cases concerning the Defense of Marriage Act that have been petitioned to the U.S. Supreme Court which has yet to decide to pick up the case and make a ruling on the whether the law’s definition of marriage violates the constitutional amendment.

The definition of marriage has been a ground for constant debate since the more accepting stance on same sex couples has emerged within our society. Whenever there is a large umbrella ruling that could come from a proceeding it usually is seen passed up until it comes to the U.S. Supreme Court. Rulings on the very definition of marriage and its intricacies are things that we at MyDivorcePapers pay very close attention to. No matter the couples’ gender, the legalities of marriage and divorce will always be important to any party entering into what constitutes a legally binding agreement, especially one for life. Any questions on the nature of divorce proceedings can always been found in their most updated form for each state on Visit us to find out all the laws that pertain to your divorce process.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Home | Leadership Team | Help Center | Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions | Disclaimer

© 2014, All Rights Reserved.

Back to Top