Hearing Scheduled Next Friday to "Defend Marriage"
WASHINGTON - Just hours before the federal government may shut down, the Republican leadership in the House found the time to schedule the third anti-gay hearing in just three weeks, this time to prop up the discriminatory and unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Yesterday and last week, Republicans held two hearings on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal.
DOMA denies legally married same-sex couples more than 1,000 federal rights and benefits, such as family and medical leave, and social security survivor and tax benefits that married opposite-sex couples take for granted. Ironically, the fact that the hearing is to be held on the day normally thought of as Tax Day, Friday, April 15th, illustrates the many financial inequities associated with the law. The House Republicans' decision to support DOMA comes on the heels of an announcement by the Obama Administration that they would no longer defend the discriminatory law in court. Earlier this week, Speaker John Boehner said that he didn't know how much it would cost the House to defend the law in court.
"The Republican Party, and House Republicans in particular, seem to be fixated on beating up on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans," said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization. "The government is on the brink of shutting down, yet Republicans are still hell-bent on wasting tax-payer dollars fighting battles out of step with the American people's priorities."
HRC recently released poll results showing that 69 percent of Americans believe that the Republican Congress is doing a fair or poor job of focusing on issues important to the American people. Furthermore, a majority of Americans oppose DOMA and the discrimination it imposes on the thousands of legally married same-sex couples living in this country.
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.
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