New York City Council Header
File #: Res 1390-2012    Version: * Name: Supporting the plaintiff’s position that section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act.
Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Committee: Committee on Civil Rights
On agenda: 6/28/2012
Enactment date: Law number:
Title: Resolution authorizing the Speaker to file or join amicus briefs on behalf of the Council in the litigation captioned Windsor v. United States, currently on appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, for the purpose of supporting the plaintiff’s position that section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines the terms “marriage” and “spouse” under federal law to mean only heterosexual unions and individuals, is unconstitutional.
Sponsors: Christine C. Quinn, Daniel Dromm , Rosie Mendez, Annabel Palma, Deborah L. Rose, James G. Van Bramer, Gale A. Brewer, Margaret S. Chin, Leroy G. Comrie, Jr., Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, Letitia James, G. Oliver Koppell, Karen Koslowitz, Brad S. Lander, Melissa Mark-Viverito, Jessica S. Lappin, Daniel R. Garodnick
Council Member Sponsors: 17
Attachments: 1. Committee Report, 2. Hearing Testimony, 3. Hearing Transcript, 4. Hearing Transcript - Stated Meeting 7-25-12
Date Ver.Prime SponsorAction ByActionResultAction DetailsMeeting DetailsMultimedia
7/25/2012*Christine C. Quinn City Council Approved, by CouncilPass Action details Meeting details Not available
7/24/2012*Christine C. Quinn Committee on Civil Rights Hearing Held by Committee  Action details Meeting details Not available
7/24/2012*Christine C. Quinn Committee on Civil Rights Approved by CommitteePass Action details Meeting details Not available
6/28/2012*Christine C. Quinn City Council Introduced by Council  Action details Meeting details Not available
6/28/2012*Christine C. Quinn City Council Referred to Comm by Council  Action details Meeting details Not available
Res. No. 1390
 
 
Resolution authorizing the Speaker to file or join amicus briefs on behalf of the Council in the litigation captioned Windsor v. United States, currently on appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, for the purpose of supporting the plaintiff's position that section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines the terms "marriage" and "spouse" under federal law to mean only heterosexual unions and individuals, is unconstitutional.
 
 
By The Speaker (Council Member Quinn) and Council Members Dromm, Mendez, Palma, Rose, Van Bramer, Brewer, Chin, Comrie, Ferreras, James, Koppell, Koslowitz, Lander, Mark-Viverito, Lappin and Garodnick
 
           Whereas, In 1996, President Bill Clinton signed into law the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which precludes recognition of legally married same-sex couples for purposes of federal law and which purports to allow states to refuse to recognize marriages between same-sex partners performed in other jurisdictions; and
           Whereas, DOMA denies legally married same-sex couples over 1,100 federal benefits associated with marriage, including the ability to file taxes jointly, sponsor one's spouse for immigration purposes, receive a spouse's healthcare and retirement benefits, and the right to visit a spouse who has been hospitalized; and
      Whereas, In November 2010, Edith Schlain Windsor filed a complaint, Windsor v. United States, No. 10 Civ. 8435 (S.D.N.Y.), arguing that section 3 of DOMA, which defines the terms "marriage" and "spouse" under federal law to refer only to heterosexual unions and individuals, violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution; and
Whereas, Ms. Windsor met her late wife, Thea Spyer, in 1963 in New York City, and the couple lived in a committed union for the next forty-four years, registering as domestic partners in New York City in 1993 and marrying in 2007 in Toronto; and
Whereas, Ms. Spyer, gravely ill with multiple sclerosis when they wed, died less than two years later, naming Ms. Windsor as her sole executor and beneficiary; and
Whereas, Solely because of DOMA, which requires the federal government to disregard state-recognized marriages between same-sex couples, the Internal Revenue Service charged the Spyer estate over $363,000 in taxes that would not have applied to a heterosexual widow; and
Whereas, In February 2011, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the U.S. Department of Justice would no longer defend DOMA's constitutionality, and as a result, the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the U.S. House of Representatives (BLAG) is currently defending the constitutionality of DOMA; and
Whereas, On June 6, 2012, District Court Judge Barbara Jones granted Ms. Windsor's motion for summary judgment and declared DOMA to be unconstitutional; and
Whereas, BLAG has appealed the district court's ruling to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals; and
Whereas, The Second Circuit should assure that Ms. Windsor's rights are vindicated, not to mention those of countless other same-sex couples within New York, Connecticut, and Vermont; now, therefore, be it
           Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York authorizes the Speaker to file or join amicus briefs on behalf of the Council in the litigation captioned Windsor v. United States, currently on appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, for the purpose of supporting the plaintiff's  position that section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines the terms "marriage" and "spouse" under federal law to mean only heterosexual unions and individuals, is unconstitutional.
LGA
LS#3793
6/19/12  11:30am