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Public Statements

Kaine Joins 40 Senators to Repeal Defense of Marriage Act

Press Release

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Following yesterday's U.S. Supreme Court ruling in United States v. Windsor, Senator Kaine joined 40 other senators to introduce the Respect for Marriage Act. The bill would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and provide equal treatment of all married couples.

Feinstein, Nadler Reintroduce Legislation to Repeal DOMA
Respect for Marriage Act Repeals Discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act

Washington--Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice, today reintroduced theRespect for Marriage Act, a bill to repeal the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

Senator Feinstein said: "I was one of 14 senators to oppose DOMA in 1996. Today's ruling by the Supreme Court clearly establishes that one class of legally married individuals cannot be denied rights under federal law accorded to all other legally married couples. Our legislation is necessary because inequities in the administration of more than 1,100 federal laws affected by DOMA--including social security and veterans benefits--will still need to be fixed. It is time Congress strike this discriminatory law once and for all."

Congressman Nadler said: "Today's Supreme Court ruling in United States v. Windsor affirms what we stand for as Americans--the guarantee that every person and every family is given equal respect under the law. It means that married same-sex couples can participate fully in federal programs that provide much-needed security for American families. Far beyond this, today's ruling also means that these couples--their loving commitments and lawful marriages--will finally receive their government's equal respect and support."

"We should rejoice and celebrate today's ruling, but our work is not yet done. The Court has ruled that Section 3 of DOMA is unconstitutional, but Congress still must repeal the law in its entirety," Nadler added. "That is why we are reintroducing the Respect for Marriage Act, which repeals DOMA in its entirety and sends DOMA into the history books where it belongs. This bill ensures repeal of section 2 of DOMA, which was not at issue in the Windsor case and purports to excuse the states from even considering whether to honor the marriage of a gay and lesbian couple performed by a sister state. The bill also provides a uniform rule for recognizing couples under federal law, ensuring that all lawfully married couples will be recognized under federal law, no matter where they live. We salute today's ruling. It is a tremendously important victory, but it is also a call to all of us to finish the job by passing the Respect for Marriage Act."

The bill has 161 original cosponsors in the House and 41 original cosponsors, including Senator Feinstein, in the Senate. They are Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Robert Casey (D-Penn.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), William "Mo" Cowan (D-Mass.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Angus King (I-Maine), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Pat Leahy (D-Vt.), Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Christopher Murphy (D-Conn.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Mark Udall (D-Colo.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).


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