Governors, Mayors Send Letter to Senators Supporting DOMA Repeal
November 9, 2011 by Charlie Joughin
Today HRC released a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee members from a bipartisan group of governors and mayors in marriage equality states calling for repeal of the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The letter was sent the day before the committee is expected to markup the Respect for Marriage Act (RMA) – the bill to repeal DOMA and end federal marriage discrimination.
Signatories to the letter include: Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York; Gov. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island; Gov. Dannel Malloy of Connecticut; Gov. Martin O’Malley of Maryland; Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts; Gov. Peter Shumlin of Vermont; Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York, NY; Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. of New Haven, CT; Mayor Bill Finch of Bridgeport, CT; Mayor Vincent C. Gray of Washington, DC; Mayor Edwin Lee of San Francisco, CA; Mayor Thomas Menino of Boston, MA; Mayor Jerry Sanders of San Diego, CA; Mayor Pedro E. Segarra of Hartford, CT; and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles, CA. California Gov. Jerry Brown – whose state recognizes a limited amount of same-sex couples married before the passage of Prop 8 – submitted a separate letter to the committee in support of the RMA.
As the Governors and Mayors write in the letter, “[t]he federal government should not be in the business of picking which marriages it likes and which it does not, but that is exactly what DOMA does. We urge you to pass the Respect for Marriage Act and ensure that all families are afforded equal protections and equal dignity.”
As part of the Americans for Marriage Equality campaign, the Human Rights Campaign has been executing a multi-pronged strategy to win a successful committee vote on the RMA including lobbying members and working with our allies to prepare for attacks against the bill. In addition to the letter, HRC today delivered 135,000 petition signatures to Senate offices showing the groundswell of public support for repeal of DOMA. 51 percent of voters oppose DOMA while only 34 percent favor it, according to a March 2011 poll by HRC and Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research.
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