A divided federal appeals court in Manhattan struck down the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruling comes only weeks after arguments on the lower court's ruling the law was unconstitutional.
The ruling came in a case brought by Edith Windsor. She sued the government in November 2010 because she was told to pay $363,053 in federal estate tax after her partner of 44 years, Thea Spyer, died in 2009. They had married in Canada in 2007.
In the 2-to-1 opinion, authored by conservative Chief Judge Dennis Jacobs, is a blistering indictment of the 1996 law and offers a sweeping legal rationale for striking the law that concludes any law that discriminates against the LGBT community should be viewed very skeptically to our Constitution and must be reviewed by a heightened scrutiny.