DAMN. IT'S GAY MARRIAGE, Y'ALL.

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The raucousness of this morning's overturning of DOMA died away quickly.
This morning, at just a touch past 10, the Supreme Court announced its long-awaited ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act, striking the law down in an uncharacteristically sweeping 5-4 ruling. In all the media analysis mumbo-jumbo since the case was argued back in February, the fundamentals of the case got all tangled up in conjecture and hypotheses about the court ruling this way or that.

See Also: Scenes of Jubilation at the Stonewall Inn as the Supreme Court Strikes Down DOMA

Well, no more need for guesswork: With the demise of DOMA, married gay couples in the states where it's legal (Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Washington, Maine, Maryland, Rhode Island, Delaware, Minnesota, and D.C.) can now enjoy the over 1,000 federal rights and benefits attached to marriage. And here in New York, it means more than 10,000 couples living with skim-milk marriage can now get their cut of the fat.

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AG Eric Schneiderman Thinks SCOTUS Should/Will Strike Down DOMA

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Today, the Supreme Court will begin hearings on the cases pending constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California's Proposition 8. It is the first legal step in a process that will end in June, when the Nine are expected to release their opinion to the public--one that could have drastic effects on the rights of homosexuals across the country. On that day, all eyes will be on Washington.

It's obviously no surprise that the cases have gained serious attention from all over the place. The White House filed an amicus brief on behalf of same-sex marriage advocates; the ACLU and numerous other civil libertarian groups have inserted their opinion; even a whole set of Republicans have switched over to support the plight of those seeking matrimony in states that ban such an act.

Yesterday, the base of fanfare for a strike-down of DOMA grew right here in New York. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, a main architect behind Gov. Cuomo's Marriage Equality Act and an amicus brief filer himself, appeared on The Brian Lehrer Show to give his crystal ball opinion on the case's fate.

One word: unconstitutional.

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Edith Windsor, Octogenarian Lesbian Widow: Take My DOMA Case to the Supreme Court!

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Steven Thrasher
Edith Windsor, the day after a federal court first ruled in her favor
Edith Windsor, the octogenarian lesbian widow who successfully sued the federal government for over chariging her $363,000 in estate taxes, wants to take her case to the Supreme Court.

According to a press release from the New York Civil Liberties Union, which is representing Windsor along with the ACLU and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison: "Edith 'Edie' Windsor, who sued the government for failing to recognize her marriage to her late spouse, Thea Spyer, asked the U.S. Supreme Court today to hear her challenge to the so-called "'Defense of Marriage Act' (DOMA)...In the meantime, Windsor will continue to defend her victory before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which has agreed to hear her case on an expedited basis."

Last month, the Voice reported about Windsor's victory in a federal district court here in New York. Although the Obama Administration has stopped defending DOMA, believing parts are unconstitutional, House Speaker John Boehner has directed the Bipartian Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) to keep defending it in federal court.

Asked by the Voice what she'd say to Speaker Boehner for seemingly wanting her to be the only person in America he wants to pay more taxes, she replied, " I think I'd rather not talk to him."

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Chris Geidner of Metro Weekly on LGBT Deportation and Death Taxes (VIDEO)

Over last weekend, Chris Geidner of Metro Weekly did a lot of good reporting about two significant LGBT legal cases. Both show how the Obama administration, which declines to vocally support same-sex marriage, is also quietly and technocratically using the law to bolster it. We chatted on Monday with Geidner about the case of New Yorker Edith Windsor, who is suing the government over a $350,000 estate tax bill following the death of her wife, Thea Spyer. (But for the Defense of Marriage Act, or if her spouse had been a man, Windsor wouldn't have this bill.) When the Department of Justice signaled its support for Windsor's position last week, Geidner wrote, "This is the first time the government stated affirmatively in court that a lawsuit requiring that Section 3 of DOMA be struck down as unconstitutional should succeed."

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The Week Ahead at Runnin' Scared, In Court and Around Town

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Michael Premo
Good Monday morning! We've got quite a week ahead around town here at Runnin' Scared, especially in the courts. Here are some of the stories we'll be following closely.

Mary Ward, the 82-year-old facing eviction in Bed Stuy, is scheduled to continue talks with 768 Dean Inc. today. We are told that no marshall is scheduled for today, but could be scheduled as early as tomorrow. Still, Organizing for Occupation has vowed to create another human chain around Ward's home whenever necessary, as they successfully did on Friday, and they're organizing "A Call for Reconciliation & Justice" at Ward's home at 9:00 AM this morning. We will be on Russia Today this evening talking about the story that has captured the imagination of new outlets worldwide. Here's a link to the bankruptcy ruling that led to Ward's eviction.

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Chris Geidner of Metro Weekly on DOMA and the Respect for Marriage Act (VIDEO)

Recently, we asked Metro Weekly's Chris Geidner to help us understand the Obama administration's legal strategy for pursuing gay rights in the courts. Yesterday, we chatted with Geidner again, about the Defense of Marriage Act and the proposed Respect for Marriage Act. It was Geidner who asked Press Secretary Jay Carney the question that got the White House to voice its support for the Respect for Marriage Act, the first time Obama has endorsed specific legislation to repeal DOMA.

Our video chat continues after the jump, where Geidner talks about being in the actual Senate hearings and what the mood was like.

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Chris Geidner of Metro Weekly Attempts to Explain Obama's LGBT Legal Reasoning (VIDEO)


Ever confused about just what the Obama administration's legal reasoning is when it comes to LGBT rights? So are we! And when we can't quite make out just what it is Obama is trying to do legally, we often turn to lawyer-journalist Chris Geidner of Metro Weekly and the Poliglot blog.

Geidner says that, convoluted as it may seem, there is a certain legal logic to the administration's approach, which appears to be building towards something. We asked him to explain it in the above video to the Voice audience.


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