Senator Kirsten Gillibrand Joins Calls to Repeal DOMA
March 02, 2011
New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is declaring her support for a bill to be introduced by California Senator Dianne Feinstein to repeal to so-called "Defense of Marriage Act." Sen. Gillibrand made her position abundantly clear as she launched a new website, repealDOMA.com.
"There is no reason same-sex couples should be denied the same rights that my husband and I and so many other straight Americans enjoy," she wrote on The Huffington Post. "For me it comes down to the very simple principles that every American should be able to marry the person they love, and that discrimination against LGBT Americans is unconstitutional and wrong."
Gillibrand also sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner urging him against having the House step in to defend the law in court, now that President Obama will not.
"At this critical economic juncture in our nation’s history, it is imperative that we as legislators do not devote resources to defending an antiquated and unconstitutional law," Sen. Gillibrand said in the letter. "The appointment of special counsel and pursuit of this case is a drain on resources, time, and energy and is not in America’s economic and social interests."
While the Obama Administration is not defending DOMA against court challenges, the federal government is still enforcing the law. This has especially serious consequences for binational gay couples like Edwin Echegoyen and Rodrigo Martinez, who live in Maryland and have been together for eight years.
Rodrigo is an American citizen, but DOMA stops him from getting a green card for Edwin, who is facing deportation to his native El Salvador next week. The two were married in Washington, DC, and if they were a straight couple then getting the green card would be no problem. Now their attorney is aksing immigration officials to at least delay the deportation until the courts or Congress act on DOMA, now that President Obama has declared the law to be unconstitutional.