The next battle over a law that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman will be waged in a federal appeals court in New York on Thursday. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments in the case of Edith Windsor, an 83-year-old woman who says the so-called "Defense of Marriage Act" discriminates against gay couples in violation of the U.S. Constitution. Windsor’s lawsuit is one of numerous challenges to the so-called "Defense of Marriage Act" winding their way through U.S. courts. Appeals in several cases are pending before the Supreme Court, which could choose to take up the issue in its upcoming term that starts on Monday. Six states have marriage equality laws, including New York in 2011. Because of the Defense of Marriage Act, which was passed in 1996, federal law and government programs do not recognize those marriages.
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