Sen. Tim Kaine's office news release
U.S. Senator Tim Kaine signed an amicus brief filed in the U.S. Supreme Court today by 212 members of Congress challenging Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which created a federal definition of marriage for the first time. The brief concludes there is no legitimate federal interest in denying married same-sex couples the same legal security, rights and responsibilities that federal law provides to all other married couples, and that DOMA undermines the welfare of American families.
The case at hand, U.S. v. Edith Schlain Windsor, involves the federal government denying a same-sex couple protections from the estate tax that other married couples receive. When Edith "Edie" Windsor's spouse passed away, her inheritance was significantly decreased because of section 3 of DOMA, and they were treated as strangers under the law despite having a relationship that had lasted more than 40 years.
In 2006, Kaine campaigned against an amendment to the Virginia constitution that banned any legal recognition of same-sex relationships. On his first day as Governor, he signed an executive order that banned discrimination against state employees based on race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, age, political affiliation, veteran status or disability.
"I'm proud to join 212 members of the House and Senate in filing this brief with the Supreme Court that details why we believe Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act should be ruled unconstitutional," said Kaine. "I'm encouraged by the Supreme Court's decision to take up the Defense of Marriage Act and hope there's an end in sight to the continued discrimination against thousands of committed couples across the country."