US Supreme Court Strikes Down DOMA, Legal Aid Participates As Amicus In Historic Case

"The United States Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Windsor, finding Article 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act unlawful on Equal Protection grounds, is an incredible victory for The Legal Aid Society's LGBT clients and our staff. We are proud to have participated as amicus curiae in this historic case," said Steven Banks, the Society's Attorney-in-Chief.

Although the 5-4 Windsor decision did not apply a heightened scrutiny standard to matters involving gays and lesbians as the underlying Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruling did, Justice Anthony Kennedy, who authored the majority opinion, declared "DOMA instructs all federal officials, and indeed all persons with whom same-sex couples interact, including their own children, that their marriage is less worthy than the marriages of others. The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and to injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity."

Kimberly Forte, the Supervising Attorney for The Legal Aid Society's LGBT Law and Policy Initiative, coordinated the Society's participation in this landmark litigation.