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Court Grants Same-Sex Surviving Spouse Estate Tax Refund; Holds DOMA Definition of “Marriage” Unconstitutional

On June 6, 2012, the US District Court, Southern District of New York, in Windsor v. U.S., held that a same-sex surviving spouse is entitled to an estate tax refund, as the definition of “marriage” under the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) deprived the surviving spouse equal protection, as guaranteed under the Fifth Amendment to the U.S .Constitution.  As such, the court also held that DOMA’s definition of marriage is unconstitutional.

Under DOMA, “marriage” means “only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife.”

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