SAGE: Advocacy & Services for LGBT Elders
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For Immediate Release

December 7, 2012

Edie Windsor's DOMA Challenge Taken Up by the Supreme Court

[New York, NY] In a significant step forward for LGBT people and marriage equality, the Supreme Court announced today that it will hear a challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) brought by Edith “Edie” Windsor. The Supreme Court also decided to hear California's Proposition 8 case.

"SAGE has been proud to stand alongside Edie Windsor, a longtime volunteer leader at SAGE, in her ongoing fight for equality," said Michael Adams, Executive Director of SAGE. "Edie has fought many hard-won battles to ensure that her case—which has to potential to protect the rights of all LGBT couples—would be heard by Supreme Court. With today's announcement, she has broken down one more barrier along the road to full equality for LGBT elders."

On October 18, in the case of Windsor's constitutional challenge to DOMA, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Manhattan ruled that DOMA unconstitutionally discriminates against married same-sex couples. SAGE, joined by National Senior Citizens Law Center and American Society on Aging, was among the more than fifteen parties that filed briefs in support of Windsor's case. Windsor, a longtime supporter of SAGE, is a SAGE Lifetime Achievement Award Honoree and former board member.

After the death of her spouse Thea Spyer, Windsor was forced to pay more than $360,000 in estate taxes that she would not have had to pay had she been married to a man instead of a woman. Windsor sued the federal government for failing to recognize her marriage. She is represented by attorneys from 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.

For more information on Windsor's case and the Proposition 8 case, please visit the ACLU Blog of Rights.

SAGE is the country's largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older adults. Founded in 1978 and headquartered in New York City, SAGE is a national organization that advocates for public policy changes that address the needs of LGBT older people. SAGE also offers supportive services and consumer resources to LGBT older adults and their caregivers, provides education and technical assistance for aging providers and LGBT organizations through its National Resource Center on LGBT Aging, and cultural competence training through SAGECare. With staff located across the country, SAGE coordinates a growing network of affiliates across the country. Learn more at

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