New York City Mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg, and Speaker of the City Council, Christine C. Quinn, say that they will file an amicus brief opposing the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) citing that it is unconstitutional. According to a June 21, 2012 New York Times article, the “friend-of-the-court” legal brief will be filed with a case that will go to the United States Court of Appeals. This type of brief can be submitted by organizations that say that they have an interest in the case.

The case involved an inheritance tax that a widow was forced to pay after her same-sex widow passed away. The two women were married in 2007 in Canada. DOMA bars same-sex married couples from benefits that heterosexual couples receive. These benefits include healthcare benefits, joint filing of taxes and inheritance tax exemptions.

The 83-year-old widow had to pay over $500,000 in inheritance taxes. $360,000 of those taxes would not have required if the federal government recognized same-sex marriages. New York State legalized same-sex marriage last year and also began recognizing same-sex marriages performed elsewhere in 2008.

A Manhattan judge ruled in favor of the widow, overstepping U.S. law but a group of representatives from the House of Representatives are appealing the case.

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