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In the majority opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote: "The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and to injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity." Edith Windsor and Thea Spyer, a same-sex couple residing in New York, were lawfully married in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in 2007.
On November 9, 2010, Windsor sued the federal government in the U. District Court for the Southern District of New York, seeking a refund because DOMA singled out legally married same-sex couples for "differential treatment compared to other similarly situated couples without justification." On February 23, 2011, U. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Department of Justice would not defend the constitutionality of Section 3 in Windsor. Supreme Court to review the decision, and the Court issued a writ of certiorari in December 2012. The decision effectively allowed same-sex marriages in that state to resume after the court ruled that the proponents of the initiative lacked Article III standing to appeal in federal court based on its established interpretation of the case or controversy clause.Under that standard, it could no longer defend the constitutionality of DOMA Section 3.On April 18, 2011, Paul Clement, representing the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the House of Representatives (BLAG), filed a motion asking to be allowed to intervene in the suit "for the limited purpose of defending the constitutionality of Section III" of DOMA.By creating two contradictory marriage regimes within the same State, DOMA forces same-sex couples to live as married for the purpose of state law but unmarried for the purpose of federal law, thus diminishing the stability and predictability of basic personal relations the State has found it proper to acknowledge and protect.By this dynamic DOMA undermines both the public and private significance of state-sanctioned same-sex marriages; for it tells those couples, and all the world, that their otherwise valid marriages are unworthy of federal recognition.