November 09, 2011
Marriage Equality State Leaders Support DOMA Repeal
HRC Releases Bipartisan Letter to Senate from Governors and Mayors in Marriage Equality States
Washington – The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, today 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). Thursday, the committee is expected to markup the Respect for Marriage Act (RMA) – the bill to repeal DOMA and end federal marriage discrimination. A full copy of the letter is available at: http://www.hrc.org/files/assets/resources/RMALetter_2011.pdf.
“State leaders on the front lines see clearly how DOMA harms families,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “The Senate should heed their call to end the federal discrimination against loving and committed gay and lesbian couples.”
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.”
A full copy of the letter is available at: http://www.hrc.org/files/assets/resources/RMALetter_2011.pdf.
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.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.