Petition Closed

Ask the New York Attorney General candidates whether, if elected, they would file suit against the federal Defense of Marriage Act which denies married same-sex couples in New York all 1,138 federal marriage benefits?

Letter to
State Senator Eric Schneiderman
State Assemblyman Richard Brodsky
Eric Dinallo
and 2 others
Sean Coffey
Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan
Massachusetts became the 1st state to sue the U.S. government on July 8, 2009 over Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which denies married same-sex couples all 1,138 federal marriage benefits. Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley contends in the lawsuit that DOMA “constitutes an overreaching and discriminatory federal law.” The full complaint is here: http://www.mass.gov/Cago/docs/press/2009_07_08_doma_complaint.pdf.

Recently, candidates for attorney general in both Connecticut and Rhode Island have been asked for their stances on whether they too would file a lawsuit or an amicus brief against DOMA. The response has been overwhelmingly positive. To see the full list of candidates, please visit defendthelaw.org.

This past Thursday, attorney general candidate Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced that if elected attorney general she too would file a constitutional challenge against DOMA. District Attorney Rice said that she believes the federal law infringes upon the civil rights of New Yorkers and unconstitutionally deprives the state of its right to provide the full benefits of marriage to its citizens. While New York State has not yet passed marriage equality legislation, the State recognizes same-sex marriages validly enacted elsewhere. To gain standing in the lawsuit, District Attorney Rice said that the state could represent New Yorkers afforded marital status by New York State, but denied federal marriage benefits by DOMA.

And so I would like to know what your stance is on this extremely important issue that affects all New Yorkers? If elected, would you also file suit or an amicus brief against DOMA?

Thank you in advance for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing your stance on this matter.