New York State Bar Association President Seymour W. James Jr. (The Legal Aid Society in New York City) today issued the following statement regarding a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, New York, to declare the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional:

"The State Bar Association, a longtime advocate for the repeal of DOMA, applauds the court on its historic decision to strike down this discriminatory act. 

"The Defense of Marriage Act denies certain federal benefits - such as spousal social security or the ability to file joint tax returns - to legally married same-sex couples in New York.

"The State Bar Association has long supported equal rights for same-sex couples, and was a vocal advocate for the state's Marriage Equality Act, which went into effect in June 2011.

"We will continue to advocate against this discriminatory act and we urge the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down this law nationwide at its next available opportunity."


The New York State Bar Association, with 77,000 members, is the largest voluntary state bar association in the country. It was founded in 1876.

Contact: Mark Mahoney
Associate Director, Media Services and Public Affairs