Edie Windsor, the plaintiff in the case that lead the Supreme Court to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act, formally endorsed City Council Speaker Christine Quinn tonight during a jubilant celebration rally in front of the historic Stonewall Inn.
“I wasn’t going to announce who I was going to endorse until a decision was made … and it’s Christine Quinn!” said Ms. Windsor of the woman who–if elected–would become the city’s first female and openly gay mayor.
Christine Quinn, who is vying to become New York City’s first openly gay mayor, quickly summed up her feelings this morning in an MSNBC interview. She was reacting, of course, to the Supreme Court striking down the Defense of Marriage Act. She quickly pivoted to the New York roots of the case that overturned DOMA, United States v. Windsor.
In a major victory for gay rights, the United States Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act this morning, ruling the 1996 law unconstitutional. Same-sex married couples are now entitled to the same federal status as other married couples, such as in regard to income taxes and Social Security.
The case, United States v. Windsor, is based on a New York woman, Eddie Windsor, who married her spouse, Thea Clara Spyer in Canada. Upon Ms. Spyer’s death in 2009, Ms. Windsor inherited her estate and was taxed as if they were unmarried. In their decision today, the Supreme Court ruled that DOMA created a separate and unequal class of citizens in cases such as this.
This afternoon, a New York federal appeals court struck down a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act, commonly known as DOMA, which excluded federal benefits from same-sex couples in states recognizing such marriages. And Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Council Speaker Christine Quinn, both loud advocates in favor of gay marriage, blasted out a rare joint statement approving the legal decision.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand made herself something of a national figure by pushing the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and this afternoon, her office was about 20 minutes ahead of the White House with a statement cheering the official presidential certification that will end the policy.
Chelsea Clinton joined advocates this evening in Manhattan to mark the first week of a phonebank campaign to legalize same-sex marriage, and said she hopes that New York will pass a same-sex marriage bill by her anniversary this July.
“As someone who got married last year, it was certainly the happiest day of my life to be able to marry my best friend,” she said of her 2010 wedding to husband Marc Mezvinsky. “I fundamentally believe that every New Yorker, every American, and everyone should have the same right.”