Senate committe moves the bill to attempt repeal DOMA

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The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved the Respect for Marriage Act, a legislative attempt to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) by a 10-8 vote in favor. The Defense of Marriage Act has prohibited the federal government from recognizing same-sex couples and has deprived same-sex couples the protection that marriage would provide.

DOMA prevents gay couples from taking advantage of over 1,100 federal rights and benefits that are provided to legally married couples. These include Social Security benefits; federal health benefits to spouses and protections in times of medical emergencies. The “Respect for Marriage Act” was written by Dianne Feinstein (D-California).

“There are 131,000 legally married, same-sex couples in this country who are denied more than 1,100 federal rights and protections because of this discriminatory law,” Feinstein said.  “I don’t know how long the battle for full equality will take, but we are on the cusp of change, and today’s historic vote in the committee is an important step forward.”

“Today’s vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee puts us one step closer to ending federal marriage discrimination,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “We thank the members of the Judiciary Committee who stood up for LGBT families and particularly thank Chairman Leahy and Senator Feinstein for their leadership in fighting this unjust law. With marriage equality a reality in six states and the District of Columbia, state leaders in both parties are finding it strengthens families.” Solmonese also said that “DOMA is government-sanctioned discrimination, which causes real harm.” he called on the United States Senate to rid the nation of this law which he and his organizatiuon say is unjust.

The Senate committee voted 10-8 in favor of the Respect for Marriage act, that would repeal the law that defined marriage between a man and a woman in 1996. The Human Rights Campaign released a letter calling for passage of the Respect for Marriage Act.

 

The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved the Respect for Marriage Act, a legislative attempt to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) by a 10-8 vote in favor. The Defense of Marriage Act has prohibited the federal government from recognizing same-sex couples and has deprived same-sex couples the protection that marriage would provide.