One year after introduction, DOMA repeal bill keeps gaining new cosponsors
March 15, 2012
It's been one year since the Respect for Marriage Act, the bill that would overturn the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), was introduced in Congress and 365 days later, support for ending federal marriage discrimination is at an all-time high. Just this week Representatives Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Hansen Clarke (D-MI) and Steve Cohen (D-TN) became the latest members of Congress to sign on as cosponsors of the bill, bringing the total number of cosponsors in the House to 140, compared to the 108 House cosponsors on the bill on this date last year. 31 Senators have cosponsored the Respect for Marriage Act, up from 18 in March 2011.
Over the past year, Freedom to Marry's federal program has aggressively campaigned for DOMA's repeal. Along with our co-chairs at the Human Rights Campaign, we've launched the Respect for Marriage Coalition- 62 diverse organizations working together to end federal marriage discrimination. And with the help of our thousands of supporters nationwide, we've have made the case for why marriage matters to lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. Our Federal Director Jo Deutsch released this statement today on the anniversary of the DOMA repeal bill:
“One year after the introduction of the Respect for Marriage Act, we have seen enormous momentum for ending the ‘gay exception’ created by DOMA, which treats America’s legally married same-sex couples – including servicemembers risking their lives for our safety – as strangers under federal law. Representatives Bonamici, Clarke, and Cohen are joining with their House and Senate colleagues to end government discrimination against loving and committed gay and lesbian couples. As we work to win more freedom to marry victories in states across the country, Freedom to Marry will also keep making the case on the Hill to overturn DOMA and ensure that lawful marriages celebrated in the states are once again respected by the federal government.”
Congressman Jerry Nadler (D-NY), the lead sponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act in the House, also reflected on the ever-growing momentum to pass this crucial legislation:
“A year after introducing this historic legislation, our movement to repeal DOMA and bring federal law into the 21st century has made unprecedented strides. We have seen the Senate introduce its counterpart bill, hold the first ever hearing on the legislation, and pass it out of the Senate Judiciary Committee. President Obama has now endorsed our bill, the federal courts are hearing major cases challenging DOMA, and two federal courts already have declared it unconstitutional. Meanwhile, eight states and the District of Columbia have embraced marriage equality. Every day, we are closer to sending this shameful law into the history books and ensuring that all married couples have the support and respect from their government that their families deserve.”
We look forward to working with Representatives Bonamici, Clarke, Cohen and other sponsors of DOMA repeal in the coming year to move marriage forward in our nation's capital. Our movement has a lot to show for the past year and momentum just continues to build as majority support for the freedom to marry grows in every region of the country. Click here to mark the one year anniversary of the Respect for Marriage Act's introduction by asking your members of Congress to cosponsor DOMA repeal.