Recently, the Manhattan Declaration filed an amicus brief (“Friend of the Court”) on behalf of its 535,000+ signers in USA v. Windsor a case coming before the Supreme Court this spring questioning the Constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as one man, one woman in federal law. John Mauck, the attorney who authored the brief, explains in an op-ed in the Washington Times why DOMA is important:
The Manhattan Declaration describes marriage as “the first institution of society… on which all other human institutions have their foundation.” Understanding what marriage is – and why it matters – could not be more important.
Pending before the Supreme Court is USA v. Windsor, in which Edith Windsor, a lesbian claiming unfair treatment under federal estate tax law, seeks a declaration that the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) violates the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause. Because resolution of that and a companion case will decide how the Equal Protection Clause applies to marriage laws, the Court decision will not only affect federal policy, but will almost certainly impact outcomes in various states in a number of cases seeking to invalidate traditional marriage.For example, in Darby, et al. v. David Orr, now at the state trial court level, homosexual rights activists are seeking to have the Illinois definition of marriage changed to include same-sex couples, even though Illinois enacted a strong Domestic Partnership law in 2011 effectively granting homosexual couples the same rights as married couples, except the use of the word “marriage.”