HRC Blog

DOMA’s Broad Impact on LGBT American Families

Next Wednesday, March 27, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on Windsor v. United States, the case challenging the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Edie Windsor, now 83, was forced to pay more than $363,000 in estate taxes after the death of her legally wedded wife Thea Spyer, money she would not have to pay if Thea had been a man.

Under DOMA, same-sex couples – even if legally married in their state – are denied more than 1,138 benefits, rights and protections currently provided on the basis of marital status in federal law.

From the denial of Social Security survivor benefits to unequal access to family leave, spousal health care, immigration rights or a long list of tax benefits, same-sex couples lose out on a host of important protections and are forced to navigate many unclear and often discriminatory federal policies because of DOMA.

Click here to read a summary of some of the key rights and benefits denied by DOMA.

You can join us in standing up for marriage equality in front of the Supreme Court on March 26 at 8:30 am. Visit hrc.org/standformarriage to learn more.

Image courtesy of New York Magazine/Edith Windsor

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