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Pelosi Statement on Beginning of Oral Arguments by Supreme Court on Marriage Equality Cases

Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement this week as the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in the case of United States v. Windsor, a challenge to the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and Hollingsworth v. Perry, a challenge to California’s Prop. 8:

“Today, the Supreme Court will begin to hear challenges to the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act.  It is clear that there is no legitimate federal or state interest in discrimination.  As the justices consider both of these cases, equal protection under the law must rule the day and both DOMA and Prop. 8 must be relegated to the dustbin of history.

“The DOMA challenge involves the heartbreaking case of Edie Windsor, who was required by the federal government to pay hundreds of thousands in taxes after her wife, Thea, passed way.  Regardless of the fact that Edie and Thea were married and together for over 40 years, the federal government discriminated against Edie.  House Republicans intervened in this case in their efforts to preserve injustice and defend discrimination, and impose an unjust tax liability on an American family.

“In fact, the House Republican leadership repeatedly and secretly increased to $3 million the amount of taxpayer funds obligated to conducting an unprecedented, nationwide litigation campaign in more than a dozen lawsuits defending DOMA, losing all their cases in which decisions were rendered.  At first, Republicans proudly announced this effort as they catered to the most extreme elements of their party.  Now, as public opinion continues to shift, they leave unanswered charges of ‘fiscal responsibility’ hypocrisy and questions about the abuse of taxpayer funds.

"These cases are now before our nation's highest court.  It is time for justice for all American families."