Today, Congressman Bill Foster praised the United States Supreme Court for striking down the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which blocked federal and state governments from recognizing same-sex marriages. In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court determined DOMA to be unconstitutional.
"My father was a civil rights lawyer, and I was raised with a strong belief that all people deserve equal rights and protection under the law," Foster said. "That is why I am pleased to see that the Supreme Court has upheld the ideals of our Constitution and struck down DOMA. While this is truly a historic day for members of the LGBT community across the country, we must continue to do everything possible to ensure equal rights for all of our citizens. I will continue to stand with the LGBT community in their struggle for equality, because everyone -- no matter who they are, where they came from, or who they love -- deserve equal rights under the law."
For 17 years, the Defense of Marriage Act has been federal law, declaring that no state has any legal requirement to recognize the relationship between two people of the same sex as a marriage, regardless of any other state's laws, and mandating that the federal government prohibits recognition of marriage between same-sex partners.
Since taking office in January Congressman Foster has been a strong advocate for the LGBT community. Earlier this year, Foster signed the Amicus Brief submitted by 212 Members of Congress challenging Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibits recognition of marriage between same-sex partners. He also fought to bring up the Senate version of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). S. 47 which, unlike the House legislation, included vital protections for the LGBT community. In addition, Congressman Foster is a co-sponsor of H.R. 1755, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2013, which would provide basic protections against workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
This week Congressman Foster also signed on as an original co-sponsor to the Respect for Marriage Act, which would fully repeal DOMA and provide a uniform rule for recognizing married couples for federal law purposes. The bill will be introduced later this summer.