“DOMA harms families, and the Respect for Marriage Act would help them. It is as simple, and essential, as that.”
NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter was present today in our nation’s capitol for the introduction of the Respect for Marriage Act, historic legislation that would repeal the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act and require the federal government to treat married same-sex couples equally. Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Chair of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO), along with Congressman John Conyers (D-MI), Congressman John Lewis (D-GA), Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) and Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA), with a total of 91 original co-sponsors to date, introduced the Respect for Marriage Act in the House of Representatives
Here are Shannon’s remarks from the press conference:
The National Center for Lesbian Rights is thrilled to be here today in support of this historic bill. DOMA is not only a shameful blot on our nation’s commitment to the principles of equality and respect for all families, it is also a radical departure from longstanding principles of federalism.
The Respect for Marriage Act will restore the time-honored principle that the federal government will respect all marriages that are valid under state law. This Act will ensure that all married couples have the same legal certainty with respect to federal responsibilities and protections, and that committed couples who are validly married in a state will be treated as such by the federal government, regardless of where they live, travel. or move.
The Respect for Marriage Act will not change any state laws or take away any state’s power to determine its own policies with regard to marriage. Rather, it will simply remove the federal government from the business of purporting to tell states which marriages are worthy of respect, or treating some legally married couples worse than others under federal law. For 13 years, DOMA has caused real harm to families; the Respect for Marriage Act will help families. It is as simple, and as essential, as that.