HRC Blog

Better Know Bachmann: The Truth About Civil Rights and Same-Sex Marriage

"This isn’t an issue of equality or civil rights for gay people. This is going to take away civil rights and civil liberties from all,” Rep. Michele Bachmann warned Minnesotans of same-sex marriage in 2004 on the radio program “Prophetic Views Behind the News.” Flash forward to present-day, Bachmann’s perspective hasn’t much changed. She was the first presidential candidate to sign The Family Leader’s pledge, which includes vows to work to ban same-sex marriage and to affirm that same-sex marriage is akin to polygamy. More recently, she condemned President Obama’s support for the Respect for Marriage Act, which had a Senate Committee hearing yesterday.

The Defense of Marriage Act denies legally married same-sex couples over 1,100 federal rights, benefits and responsibilities, including Social Security benefits, health benefits, and the ability to file joint tax returns. The Respect for Marriage Act calls for the repeal for the discriminatory legislation, and any couple legally married under state law to receive the many protections the federal government provides.

It is categorically untrue that everyone will lose rights if same-sex marriage is lawfully respected. More accurately, as HRC President Joe Solmonese said yesterday in his testimony in defense of the Respect for Marriage Act before the Senate Committee, DOMA doesn’t just hurt same-sex couples, but their families, their religious leaders, and even their employers who struggle to offer emotional and often financial support to a group of individuals that is “formally disrespected and discriminated against.“

DOMA denies civil rights and civil liberties lawfully married same-sex couples are constitutionally entitled to.

“Rather than defending marriage, this law attacks the marriages of loving, committed same-sex couples and places far too many of them into difficult financial circumstances,” said Solmonese at the hearing. “DOMA does not protect a single marriage, but rather does immeasurable damage to many thousands.”

Join the fight against homophobia and help repeal DOMA. Sign the petition.

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