Posted by | February 28, 2011 10:30 | Filed under: Top Stories

It was a tax bill for $363,053 to Edith Windsor (pictured) upon the death of her partner Thea Spyer two years ago that led to the Obama administration deciding it couldn’t defend the Defense of Marriage Act. The couple was engaged for 40 years and married for two, after a wedding in Canada recognized by the state of New York. But a tax bill for $363,053 that would not apply to a straight married couple came Windsor’s way, enforceable by DOMA.

Windsor’s lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the act was one of two cited by the Obama administration to justify its decision to stop defending the law. The decision may be a turning point in the fight over putting same-sex marriages on the same footing as heterosexual unions.

“I couldn’t believe that our government would charge me $350,000 because I was married to a woman and not a man,” Windsor, 81, said in a video statement from the American Civil Liberties Union, which is helping to represent her.

Signed into law by President Bill Clinton, the act by 2003 affected 1,138 federal programs in which marital status was a factor in eligibility for benefits, according to the government.

Windsor’s suit to reclaim Spyer’s money from the U.S. is one of two cited by Attorney General Eric Holder in a Feb. 23 announcement that President Barack Obama’s administration would not defend the law in court.

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Copyright 2011 Liberaland
By: Alan

Alan Colmes is the publisher of Liberaland.