Attorney Roberta Kaplan Talks DOMA, Gay Rights And 'How Quickly The World Has Changed' (VIDEO)

08/14/2013 11:39 am ET

Attorney Roberta Kaplan enjoyed the victory of a lifetime when the Supreme Court sided with her client Edith Windsor and ruled the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional earlier this summer. The verdict was especially sweet for Kaplan, who in 2006 lost a case in which she argued that denying gay couples marriage under New York law was unconstitutional.

Kaplan told HuffPost Live's Ahmed Shihab-Eldin that the loss in 2006 was both a disappointment and a motivator for success in Windsor's case.

"I'm actually the reason that Edie had to go to Toronto to get married, because if I won that case, then she and Thea [Spyer] could have gotten married in New York, so I owed her," she said.

The tide of popular support turned quickly after that, and by 2011, New York had legalized same-sex marriage.

"If you told me in 2006 when we lost that case that only five years later the New York legislature would pass that law, I would have told you you were crazy. That's how quickly the world has changed," she said.

When DOMA was passed in 1996, a report from the House of Representatives said "we're passing this statute because we morally disapprove of gay people," Kaplan said. But in recent years, high-profile politicians like President Obama and Vice President Biden have changed their opinions on gay rights, which Kaplan says marks an important change.

"It's the opposite of the moral disapproval that was in the House report. It's now a moral understanding that people have that gay people and their relationships and our relationships are no different than the relationships and the lives of anyone else," she said.

See the full interview with Roberta Kaplan at HuffPost Live HERE:

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