U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse released the following statement today regarding the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to join the First Circuit in striking down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the federal law which defines marriage as between a man and a woman:
"Today's decision confirms that the so-called Defense of Marriage Act needs to go, and that Attorney General Holder made the right decision refusing to defend it. It's wrong that gay couples could be denied Social Security survivor benefits, or not be allowed to file a joint income tax return. I hope that one day soon we can put this harmful and divisive law behind us for good."
Whitehouse is a cosponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal DOMA, and long-time supporter of marriage equality. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, which includes Rhode Island, similarly struck down DOMA in May 2012.