Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-Miramar) made the following statement regarding President Obama's support for same-sex marriage:
"I commend President Obama on his decision to formally support same-sex marriage. It is high time that gay and lesbian Americans are afforded the same rights, benefits, and protections of marriage as heterosexual couples. President Obama took an important step towards achieving true marriage equality on February 23, 2011, when he and Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Department of Justice (DOJ) would no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in court. DOMA allows states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states as well as federally defines marriage as between one man and one woman. President Obama and Attorney General Holder determined that a crucial provision of DOMA violated the equal protection component of the Fifth Amendment.
"Today, the President showed real leadership in the ongoing struggle for LGBT equality by announcing his support for same-sex marriage. It is my sincere hope that our nation will follow the President's lead in recognizing the equal rights of all Americans, regardless of their sexual orientation.
"Now can we please do something about jobs, education, and health care for everybody in America?"
Congressman Alcee L. Hastings serves as Senior Member of the House Rules Committee, Ranking Democratic Member of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, and Democratic Chairman of the Florida Delegation.