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News & Press Releases

Aug
14
2014
NYCLU Victory: Wedding Venues Cannot Discriminate Against Same-Sex Couples

The New York State Division of Human Rights has affirmed it is illegal for businesses to discriminate based on sexual orientation. The New York Civil Liberties Union victory came in the case of Melisa and Jennifer McCarthy, whose wedding was rejected by the owners of an Albany area farm and wedding venue when the owners found out that they were a same-sex couple. “No one should have the happiest time of their life marred by discrimination,” said Jennifer McCarthy. “We hope this decision will protect all New Yorkers from having to go through the hurt that we experienced.”

Feb
11
2014
NYCLU Applauds Central Islip School Board for Rejecting Sex-Specific Policy for Homecoming Queen and King Nominees

The Central Islip School Board last night voted down a proposal to require nominees for Homecoming King to be male and Homecoming Queen to be female. The Suffolk County Chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union applauded its decision. The proposal came after a local church group filed a petition to the school board after a lesbian student at Central Islip High School, Faith Shepherd, ran for and won the title for Homecoming King as a statement for gender equality and to support transgender individuals.

Jun
26
2013
U.S. Supreme Court Declares Core Section of the “Defense of Marriage Act” Unconstitutional

The U.S. Supreme Court today ruled that section three of the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA) is unconstitutional and that the federal government cannot discriminate against married lesbian and gay couples for the purposes of determining federal benefits and protections. Today’s ruling is an historic victory for gay and lesbian Americans and a tremendous step forward for the cause of equality.

Mar
27
2013
Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Widow's Challenge to DOMA

Attorneys for Edith "Edie" Windsor told the U.S. Supreme Court today that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unfairly forced Windsor to pay more than $363,000 in federal estate taxes after the death of her spouse, Thea Spyer, in violation of the equal protection principles guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

Dec
7
2012
Supreme Court to Hear Widow's Challenge to Defense of Marriage Act

The U.S. Supreme Court today agreed to hear Edith "Edie" Windsor's challenge to the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Windsor, 83, was forced to pay more than $363,000 in federal estate taxes after the death of her spouse Thea Spyer, because their marriage was not recognized under federal law. If Spyer had married a man instead of a woman, no estate tax would have been owed.

Nov
19
2012
Syracuse Common Council Extends Basic Civil Rights Protections to Transgender Residents

The New York Civil Liberties Union today applauded the Syracuse Common Council’s passage of legislation amending local civil rights law to protect transgender and gender non-conforming residents from discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations, such as restaurants, hotels and stores.

Oct
18
2012
Federal Appeals Court Declares 'Defense of Marriage Act' Unconstitutional

A federal appeals court ruled today that section three of the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA) unconstitutionally discriminates against married same-sex couples.

Sep
27
2012
Federal Appeals Court Hears Arguments in Widow’s Estate Tax Challenge to DOMA

The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unfairly forced Edith “Edie” Windsor to more than $360,000 in federal estate tax after the death of her spouse, Thea Spyer, that she would not have had to pay had she been married to a man, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit was told today.

Sep
7
2012
Friend-of-the-Court Briefs to be Filed in Support of DOMA Challenge

More than fifteen parties – including New York City, three states, members of Congress, civil rights and religious organizations ––plan to file briefs today in support of Edith “Edie” Windsor’s constitutional challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

Jul
16
2012
Supreme Court Asked to Review Edie Windsor’s Challenge to ‘Defense of Marriage Act’

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). The petition for certiorari to the Supreme Court was filed on Ms. Windsor’s behalf by her attorneys at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, the American Civil Liberties Union, the New York Civil Liberties Union and the Stanford Law School Supreme Court Litigation Clinic.

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