Today, Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke released the following statement after President Barack Obama, in an interview with ABC News reporter Robin Roberts, stated that he personally thinks that "same sex couples should be able to get married':
"I applaud President Obama for endorsing marriage equality. New York State enacted marriage equality in 2011, and I am proud that all couples have the right to marry in my home state of New York."
"There are many same-sex couples across this nation, who make enormous contributions to our society. However, they do not have the legal right to visit their partners in the hospital, share insurance policies, obtain child support, sponsor each other for permanent residency, or qualify for spousal benefits such as retirement pensions or Social Security. Same-sex couples must not be treated as second class citizens. They must be afforded the same rights as every American, irrespective of their sexual orientation, which is why I am a proud co-sponsor of H.R. 1116, the Respect for Marriage Act. This legislation would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which prohibits same-sex marriages. The repeal of DOMA would put an end to what amounts to state sanctioned discrimination against these couples."