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Posts Tagged ‘Dump DOMA’

That is the title of a news story currently at HRC. It is also now a discouraging reality of our lives.

We previously lived in Oregon where we witnessed that State take three steps forward and two steps back in the relationship recognition battle through the years. Our hopes were raised, our hopes were dashed. Then our hopes were redesigned and redelivered. We were pretty content with the end result in Oregon.

But, as with most of life… don’t get too comfortable! Because the winds of change are going to blow you to a land where people have concluded that you are decidedly a full fledged second class citizen (remember the PA. Senator John Eichelberger who magnanimously stated that PA. is graciously “allowing gays to exist”?) When we moved to Pennsylvania this last summer we suddenly lost any and all relationship recognition and protections that we had in Oregon.

If only something could be done on a National level to help ensure and protect the relationship recognition and rights for same-sex couples! Wait. I believe there is something that could be done! DOMA could be repealed!

In fact, our current President made it a campaign point to say that he supported the repeal of the “Defense of Marriage Act.” On September 15, 09 Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) introduced the Respect Marriage Act in Congress to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. Time will tell whether President Obama will indeed see this campaign promise brought to fruition while it is within his power to do so.

 Marriage & Relationship Recognition

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repeal_domaIt’s official — the Respect for Marriage Act has been introduced and now it’s time to repeal the discriminatory “Defense of Marriage Act.”  Go to www.RepealDOMAnow.org and tell your member of Congress to join on as a co-sponsor.

Suggested letter to our Congress members by the Courage Campaign:

On Tuesday morning, September 15, Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) introduced the Respect Marriage Act in Congress to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. I applaud this as a step forward and as a constituent I request that you co-sponsor the bill, but I continue to demand full equality.

Like all other Americans, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people are guaranteed equal protection by the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution. But Congress chose to ignore that provision and passed DOMA anyway. Free and equal people do not settle for fractions of equality.

Equal rights are not a “gay” issue. They are about our shared human rights: safety in our schools and jobs, equitable health-care and housing, and protection for our families, to name a few.

DOMA unfairly singles out legally married same-sex couples for inequitable treatment, denying those couples the federal protections and responsibilities that otherwise apply to married couples.

It is time we ended this injustice and began the process of providing full federal equality to all Americans. I urge you to add your name as a sponsor to the Respect Marriage Act today.

Per HRC:

Through DOMA, which was signed into law 13 years ago, on 9/21/96, the federal protect_famsgovernment singles out legally married same-sex couples for discriminatory treatment under federal law, selectively denying them more than 1,100 federal protections and responsibilities – including Social Security and immigration benefits – that otherwise apply to married couples.  This policy is discriminatory and harmful to families, preventing the government from honoring its legal commitments and the needs of families, even though these couples have assumed the obligations of civil marriage under state law and contribute as citizens and taxpayers.

Per Fox News:

Republican Rep. Paul Broun of Georgia: “Over a decade later, traditional marriage – a principle tenant in our Judeo-Christian values – is under assault more than ever before,” he continued. “This is why I was extremely disappointed to see my liberal colleagues introduce legislation today to repeal the bipartisan Defense of Marriage Act.”

dumpdomaThe Respect for Marriage Act, unveiled by Reps. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., and Jared Polis, D-Colo, has the support of more than 90 lawmakers.

The legislation would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a 1996 law signed by President Bill Clinton.

This is the “first step to overturning DOMA,” Nadler said, who called the law (DOMA) “irrational and hateful.”

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Update:

September 18, 2009The Department of Justice filed a motion today to dismiss GLAD’s case Gill v. Office of Personnel Management.
Their motion can be read here: DOJ Motion To Dismiss. Read more about the case.
In essence, although the D.O.J. understand that the administration does not support DOMA, what they are basing their motion to dismiss on is whether repealing DOMA will be “constitutional” or not. Hopefully, this is a small hiccup that will not derail the Respect for Marriage Act.

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