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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wouldn't it be great is US v. Windsor were decided on the anniversary of US v. Loving?

We are all on "Windsor Watch," awaiting the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in U.S. v. Windsor, as well as the Proposition 8 case.  Regardless of whether the Windsor case
is decided on the grounds of States' rights, federalism, or whatever else is in the Court's toolbox, the Defense of Marriage Act needs to be overturned.  While Mrs. Lo is staunchly pro-same sex marriage, the reason the Windsor case needs to be affirmed is because the federal government simply has no jurisdiction over Family Law and the DOMA act should never have been enacted.

Today, June 12, is the 46th year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967).  Mildred and Richard Loving, then a young married couple, were arrested in 1958 for violating the anti-miscegenation laws, which existed in 16 states at the time, including Virgina, and prohibited marriage between whites and non-whites.  The Lovings, were convicted (they had a child by this time), and their motion to vacate was denied.  The Circuit Court affirmed in part, reversed and remanded and the conviction went up on appeal to the Warren Court.

In one of Mrs. Lo's favorite written decisions ever, the U.S. Supreme Court declared Virginia's anti-miscegenation statute, known as the "Racial Integrity Act of 1924" as violative of the equal-protection clause and therefore unconstitutional.  This rendered the remaining 15 state anti-miscegenation statutes unconstitutional and gave all couples the freedom to marry -- unless those couples were of the same sex.

This brings us to present day, and I have written extensively on the US v. Windsor case, as Edith Windsor is a New Yorker and a personal hero of mine.  Due to the DOMA, although validly married in Canada, and although her marriage to her deceased spouse is recognized now under New York State Law, she still had to pay over $360,000.00 in estate taxes because her marriage was not recognized under Federal Law.

Today is celebrated as "Loving Day" throughout the country, and couples who are of different races are celebrated.  Wouldn't it be great if same sex couples were given the same freedom on Loving Day, by having the US Supreme Court decide US v. Windsor and strike down the DOMA once and for all?  We should call it Loving-Windsor Day if that happens.