Edith Windsor, an 83-year-old lesbian
plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging the Defense of Marriage Act
(DOMA), on Monday asked the Supreme Court to review her case.
On June 6, New York District Court
Judge Barbara Jones ruled in favor of Windsor, who received an estate
bill of more than $360,000 after the death of her wife Thea Spyer.
Windsor sued, arguing that DOMA, which bars federal agencies from
recognizing the legal marriages of gay and lesbian couples, violates
the equal protection guarantee of the U.S. Constitution.
If the Supreme Court agrees to take the
case, the lawsuit would bypass consideration before an appeals court,
gay weekly the Washington
“Ms. Windsor is 83 years old and
suffers from a serious heart condition,” the petition states.
“Because the District Court's ruling is entitled to an automatic
stay of enforcement … Ms. Windsor cannot receive the benefit of its
ruling in her favor as the executor of Ms. Spyer's estate pending
appeal and any subsequent challenges. Ms. Windsor, not Ms. Windsor's
estate, should receive the benefit to which the District Court has
already ruled that she is entitled; the constitutional injury that
has been inflicted on Ms. Windsor, as the executor of Ms. Spyer's
estate and its sole beneficiary, should be remedied within her
Windsor and Spyer shared their lives
for 44 years and married in Toronto, Canada in 2007. In 2009, New
York began recognizing the marriages of gay couples, although gay
couples could not enter such unions in the Empire State. Spyer died
The move comes just two weeks after the
Department asked the Supreme Court to review two cases challenging
the constitutionality of DOMA.