**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**
DECEMBER 7, 2012
Contact: Aja Worthy-Davis (212) 788-7081
Council Member Letitia James Comments on Supreme Court Deliberation of Historic Marriage Equality Cases
(New York, NY)— On Friday, December 07, 2012, the United States Supreme Court announced that two marriage equality cases would be heard in the nation’s highest court in early 2013— California’s Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in that state; and the Windsor case, which addresses the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The Ms. Edie Windsor, 83, was required to over $363,000 in United States estate taxes after the death of her spouse Dr. Thea Spyer, because DOMA prohibits their marriage from being recognized under federal law. If Ms. Windsor had a heterosexual marriage, no federal estate tax would have been owed.
"I am deeply pleased with the Supreme Court’s decision to hear these important cases, and hope that we are on the road to overcoming DOMA and the over 1,000 federal benefits it denies same-sex spouses,” said Council Member Letitia James. “Ms. Windsor and Dr. Spyer’s love story was beautifully told in the documentary Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement, which captured their 42 years together, culminating in their 2009 wedding in Canada. It is fitting that a woman who challenged stereotypes to become a computer programmer in the 1960’s stand today as a champion for equal legal rights. I stand with many in hope that these historic challenges usher on the federal recognition of the legitimacy of same-sex."