Today, members of the House and Senate introduced measures to repeal the “Defense of Marriage Act,” which for fifteen years has encoded discrimination against gay and lesbian Americans into federal law. Last month, the Obama administration decided to stop defending the law’s Section 3, which violates the Constitution’s equal protection clause, against legal challenges.
The repeal effort is being led by Rep. Jerrold Nadler in the House and Sen. Dianne Feinstein in the Senate.
“The Defense of Marriage Act is indefensible,” said Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way. “For fifteen years it has kept married gay and lesbian Americans from accessing the same rights and benefits of other married couples—a clear violation of both the Constitution and the principles of freedom and equality that we hold dear. All right-thinking Americans want to treat gay and lesbian couples with respect, and over the last fifteen years we’ve seen that DOMA does real harm to real people.
“The Obama administration had done the right thing in refusing to defend this indefensible law. It’s time for Congress to do the right thing and finally eliminate a measure that discriminates against, and hurts, millions of Americans.”