December 7, 2012 -- On Friday, the Supreme Court announced that in 2013 they will hear arguments about same-sex marriage.
In the past year, Congresswoman Niki Tsongas has joined her House colleagues in three "friend of the court" briefs challenging the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which prevents federal recognition of same sex marriage. She is an original cosponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act of 2011, which would repeal DOMA outright. The Congresswoman realizes that until DOMA is repealed, same sex couples are in an unclear position when it comes to federal law. As a result, she joined her colleagues in a letter to IRS Commissioner Schulman requesting that the IRS provide specific guidance so that people in legally recognized same sex relationships have certainty when it comes to filing their taxes.
In response to Friday's announcement from the Supreme Court, Congresswoman Tsongas said:
"Massachusetts played a pioneering role in bringing this issue into the national spotlight and I want to congratulate all of the activists in our home state who have been so committed to advancing this important cause.
"This has been a long journey, too often delayed, that started when my husband Paul became the first U.S. Senator to introduce legislation to expand GLBT rights. That was 33 years ago in 1979. I agreed with him then and feel just as strongly about the importance of this cause today.
"In 2004 I rallied on the steps of the Massachusetts State House in support of same-sex marriage, and I was proud when Massachusetts became the first state to recognize marriage equality. But consenting individuals throughout the country, regardless of where they live, should have the ability to live an authentic life and have their monogamous, long-term relationships recognized and celebrated. Marriage equality is reflective of the principles of individual liberty and freedom that our nation was founded upon and we will be stronger when all Americans are able to enjoy these rights."