Click here to view photos from the town hall meeting. Photos by STEVE ROTHAUS / Miami Herald Staff.
News release from the ACLU of Florida:
The ACLU of Florida, in partnership with SAVE Dade and the Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce are hosting a town hall on the upcoming Supreme Court case, U.S. v. Windsor, in which the ACLU is challenging the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). “DOMA Town Hall: How U.S. v. Windsor Impacts You” will feature a panel of legal experts and LGBT leaders explaining the case and its impact on South Florida.
U.S. v. Windsor is one of two cases having to do with the rights of same-sex couples to marry in which the United States Supreme Court will hear legal arguments next week. In the case, the ACLU is representing Edie Windsor, 83, who 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, because DOMA prevents the federal government from recognizing the marriages of same-sex couples.
Windsor and Spyer met in the 1960s and lived together for more than four decades in New York City. In 1977, Spyer was diagnosed with progressive multiple sclerosis and Windsor helped her through her long battle with that disease, which eventually resulted in Spyer’s paralysis. The couple was finally legally married in 2007. If Windsor had married a man instead of a woman, no estate tax would have been owed.
“Tonight’s event is a great opportunity for the South Florida LGBT community to learn about the impact this landmark case will have on their lives,” stated Daniel Tilley, LGBT Policy Strategist for the ACLU of Florida. “The so-called Defense of Marriage Act has done nothing to protect marriage and instead has only done it harm. DOMA has been hurtful and unfair to committed couples like Edie and Thea from day one, and folks across the country have begun to see the real harm and utter irrationality of this discriminatory law. A majority of the public understands this harm and therefore opposes DOMA – now the ACLU is prepared to explain to the Supreme Court why the time has come to put an end to this harm once and for all.”
CJ Ortuno, Executive Director of SAVE Dade agreed, stating: “Marriage is the way in which government, society, and its people recognize and honor committed relationships. When I introduce my wife, people understand who this person is and what she means to me in relation to my being. Asking anyone to even consider less is truly un-American. DOMA is un-American.”
The town hall meeting is an opportunity for members of the South Florida community to get an inside look at this landmark case for LGBT equality, and to get their questions answered about how the possible overturning of DOMA will impact their lives.
DOMA Town Hall: How U.S. v Windsor Impacts You
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Miami Beach Botanical Garden
2000 Convention Center Dr. Miami Beach, FL
- Daniel Tilley, LGBT Policy Strategist, ACLU of Florida
- Kendall Coffey, former U.S. Attorney and legal media commentator
- Richard Milstein, family law attorney
- Damian Pardo, founder of SAVE Dade and Financial Wealth Manager at Morgan Stanley
- Carla Silva, Executive Director of the Alliance for GLBTQ Youth