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On February 23, 2011, Attorney General Eric Holder released a statement regarding two lawsuits challenging DOMA Section 3, Windsor and Pedersen v. He explained that the Department of Justice (DOJ) had previously defended Section 3 of DOMA in several other lawsuits in jurisdictions where precedents required the court to use the rational basis standard for reviewing laws concerning sexual orientation.

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She was barred from doing so by Section 3 of DOMA (codified at 1 U. The Internal Revenue Service found that the exemption did not apply to same-sex marriages, denied Windsor's claim, and compelled her to pay $363,053 in estate taxes. Perry—a case related to California's constitutional amendment initiative barring same-sex marriage.

On November 9, 2010, Windsor sued the federal government in the U. District Court for the Southern District of New York, seeking a refund because DOMA singled out legally married same-sex couples for "differential treatment compared to other similarly situated couples without justification." On February 23, 2011, U. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Department of Justice would not defend the constitutionality of Section 3 in Windsor. Supreme Court to review the decision, and the Court issued a writ of certiorari in December 2012. The decision effectively allowed same-sex marriages in that state to resume after the court ruled that the proponents of the initiative lacked Article III standing to appeal in federal court based on its established interpretation of the case or controversy clause.

Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, which federally defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, is unconstitutional under the Fifth Amendment Due Process Clause's guarantee of equal protection.

The federal government must recognize same-sex marriages that have been approved by the states. in which the United States Supreme Court held that restricting U. federal interpretation of "marriage" and "spouse" to apply only to opposite-sex unions, by Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), is unconstitutional under the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment.

Spyer died at the age of 77 in 2009, leaving her entire estate to Windsor.

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