Metro Weekly has the dish:
This is a "BFD"! Not only that DOMA has been struck down by another federal court (that is becoming commonplace), but that an appellate court has finally ackowledged that sexual orientation is a characteristic which can place people in a suspect class and requires heightened judicial scrutiny is the big news out of today's 2-1 decision in Windsor. It's pretty astonishing that the decision was released a mere 3 weeks after oral arguments were heldSpecifically, the court ruled that "heightened scrutiny" must be applied in the case:In this case, all four factors justify heightened scrutiny: A) homosexuals as a group have historically endured persecution and discrimination; B) homosexuality has no relation to aptitude or ability to contribute to society; C) homosexuals are a discernible group with non-obvious distinguishing characteristics, especially in the subset of those who enter same-sex marriages; and D) the class remains a politically weakened minority.According to the American Civil Liberties Union, which is aiding Windsor in her suit, this is the first federal appeals court ruling to state that government discrimination against gay people deservces heightened judicial review.The appeals court's ruling comes three weeks after oral arguments were heard in the case. Windsor's case reached the 2nd Circuit Appeals Court after a federal judge sided with Windsor in June, ruling that the government must refund the more than $363,000 in taxes paid by Windsor following the death of her wife, Thea Spyer. Windsor is suing to recoup about $363,000, federal estate tax she was forced to pay on her inheritance from Spyer. The federal government does not tax inheritances that pass from one spouse to the other, but because of DOMA the federal government has refused to recognize Windsor and Spyer's marriage.
There are now four cases (all of which have ruled DOMA unconstitutional) from three circuits that are pending before the United States Supreme Court. And this is yet another loss from the Republican heterosexual supremacists on BLAG, who have spent $1.5 million of United States taxpayers money defending this discriminatory law.