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Effort to Repeal DOMA in Congress Gains Bipartisan Support

Ian S. Thompson,
Senior Legislative Advocate,
ACLU
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September 23, 2011

Early on Friday morning, it was announced that the legislative effort in Congress to repeal the discriminatory and unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is now a bipartisan affair.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) became the first Republican cosponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act (H.R. 1116/S. 598), legislation pending in both the House and Senate that would repeal DOMA in its entirety, as well as provide all married couples certainty that regardless of where they travel or move in the country, they will not be treated as strangers under federal law.

According to the Advocate, in announcing her support for the legislation, Rep. Ros-Lehtinen said:

I voted against the constitutional amendment defining marriage [in 2006] so I’m pleased to cosponsor the repeal of DOMA and work with my colleagues on marriage equality

With Rep. Ros-Lehtinen’s co-sponsorship, support for the Respect for Marriage Act in the House now stands at 125 — the highest it has ever been. Companion legislation in the Senate currently has the support of 30 senators, including every Democratic member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Momentum is clearly on the side of those fighting to repeal DOMA.

I hope you will continue to stand with the ACLU in urging your members of Congress to support the Respect for Marriage Act. It’s time to put DOMA — an ugly relic of a bigoted and discriminatory past — where it belongs, in the dumpster.

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