Saturday, July 20, 2013

" United States v. Windsor - Amicus Brief of Survivors of Sexual Orientation Change Therapy for Windsor "

Edith Windsor
-8 personal stories 
Sexual orientation should be recognized as a
suspect classification under the equal protection
component of the Due Process Clause of the Fifth
Amendment because homosexuals as a class have
long been subjected to discrimination based on an
immutable characteristic that should not be the
basis for unequal treatment. 

While it would not be necessary for sexual 
orientation to be an immutable trait for heightened scrutiny to apply, see Bowen v. Gilliard, 483 U.S. 587, 602 (1987)
(looking to whether a class “exhibit[s] obvious,
immutable, or distinguishing characteristics that
define them as a discrete group” (emphasis
added)), where a community is singled out for dis-
crimination based on an inherent characteristic
that is immutable, as is the case here, the applica-
tion of heightened scrutiny is particularly appro-

Amici’s personal stories as survivors of SOCE,
which are representative of the experiences of
countless other lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-
gender (“LGBT”) people, illustrate the immutabil-
ity of sexual orientation and the history of
discrimination and animosity faced by gay men
and lesbians based solely on a trait that bears no
relationship to their ability to contribute to

For these reasons, Amici urge the Court to sub-
ject the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”),
1 U.S.C. § 7, to a heightened level of scrutiny and
affirm the decision of the United States Court of
Appeals for the Second Circuit holding that the
law violates the equal protection component of the
Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment.

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