Our friends at Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) are at it again.
Tomorrow, they will be filing another lawsuit against 1996’s so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Earlier this year on behalf of couples from Massachusetts who were legally married, GLAD filed it’s first federal suit against DOMA and was successful with a Boston federal judge. Obama’s Department of Justice is in the process of appealing that decision.
In today’s New York Times article, plaintiff Joanne Pedersen tried to add her spouse Ann Meitzen to her federal health insurance and was denied, again. Currently legally married in Connecticut, Pedersen and Meitzen are being represented by GLAD in their challenge to DOMA.
Tomorrow their will be two federal lawsuits filed against DOMA, one by GLAD and the other by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
The ACLU is representing Edith C. Windsor, whose spouse died last year of aortic stenosis. Windsor
and her wife Thea C. Spyer were married in Toronto in 2007 but the couple lived in New York (which recognizes marriages performed elsewhere). Windsor was responsible for a $350,000 estate tax that were she and Spyer heterosexual, she would not have had to pay.
Edith and Thea were also the subjects of the recent film, “Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement.” Having met in 1965 in New York’s West Village, Edie recalled dancing so much on the night they met, that she wore a hole in her stocking. This incredible story spans an incredible half-century where they would go from having to keep their relationship a secret to getting married in Toronto in 2007.
As is outlined in the New York Times article, these cases represent the way LGBT couples are falling through the cracks in the system. Even though legally married in their states, the federal government is failing to recognize individual states freedoms because of the discriminatory and unconstitutional DOMA.
Many thanks to GLAD the ACLU and our brave plaintiffs for bringing your stories forward.