Photo: Abby Rogers/Business Insider
An 83-year-old woman fighting for her tax benefits loves being the face of the defence of Marriage Act battle.She just hopes it gets solved before she dies.
Edith Windsor appeared Thursday morning before New York’s federal appeals court to argue the unconstitutionality of DOMA.
Under the Clinton-era law, the federal government only recognises marriages between a man and a woman, which often means gay couples pay more taxes.
Windsor, for one, was forced to pay $363,053 in federal estate tax after her partner, Thea Spyer, died in 2009.
The Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group, Windsor’s main foe, argued Thursday the appeals court has an obligation to follow Supreme Court precedent when it comes to the federal benefits statute.
The Justice Department has sided with Windsor in her fight.
Following the oral arguments, Winsdor said “it feels great” to be the face of the DOMA fight.
Despite the fact she’s going through a “number of major illnesses,” Windsor said she knows Spyer would be happy she’s fighting DOMA.
She also called her appeal the “beginning of the end” of discrimination against same-sex couples.
“I think we don’t have to lie about who we are anymore,” Windsor said.
James “Flint” Gehre, who is embroiled in a similar DOMA fight in Connecticut, said he and his husband, who have been married for three years, are forced to pay huge sums of money in federal taxes.
In an interview last month with West Hartford Patch, Gehre said he and husband Bradley Kleinerman paid $8,000 more in income taxes because the federal government does not recognise them as a legally married couple.
“That money could go a long way toward raising three boys,” he said.
The appeals court did not issue a ruling today and isn’t expected to for several months. In the meantime, DOMA is expected to come before the Supreme Court sometime this term.
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