The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments today over the defence of Marriage Act, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg and other justices suggested the law is pretty unfair to gay couples.
Under the 1996 law, the federal government doesn’t recognise same-sex marriages. That effectively means legally married same-sex couples are denied a whole host of federal benefits that straight couples get — from immigration benefits to tax breaks to Social Security perks.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says DOMA really “affects every area of life” and infringes on a state’s right to define marriage. Under DOMA, she said, there’s “the full marriage, and then this sort of skim milk marriage.”
Ginsburg, who turned 80 recently, is just a few years younger than 83-year-old Edith Windsor, who sued to overturn DOMA. Windsor had to pay $363,000 in estate taxes when her wife died that a straight spouse wouldn’t have had to pay.
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