Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman released the following statement today following the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s vote to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which redefined marriage for federal purposes to exclude same-sex unions that are valid under state law.
“Today’s historic vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee represents a major step forward in the fight for full equality. Our office is challenging the federal Defense of Marriage Act in court over its clear violation of the principle of equal justice under law as enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, and its interference with New York's efforts to ensure marriage equality for its citizens. We will fight every day to defend the fundamental guarantee of equal protection under law for all New Yorkers.”
In July, Attorney General Schneiderman challenged the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, arguing that DOMA violates gay and lesbian couples’ right to equal protection under the law as required by the U.S. Constitution. This legal action, which fulfills Attorney General Schneiderman's pledge last year to join the court battle over DOMA, followed the historic enactment of the Marriage Equality Act of 2011.