Today, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) released the following statement on the United States Supreme Court Decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA):
"In 1996, I was one of a small minority of members of Congress to vote in oppositions of DOMA because I believe that it is unconstitutional and violates equal protection under the law. Earlier this year, I joined with many of my colleagues in submitting an amicus brief to the Supreme Court arguing that the law should be found unconstitutional.
"Today's ruling is a huge victory for equality. The Supreme Court has held what I have been arguing for more than a decade--DOMA is unconstitutional. Yet it is still just one step in the march towards total equality for all Americans. I remain strongly in support of repealing DOMA in its entirety and passing the Respect for Marriage Act so that all marriages between two committed individuals in the United States are recognized by the federal government.
"It is imperative that all Americans are able to enjoy the same rights, and that means putting an end to discrimination in all forms. That's why in March, I led a letter with 110 of members of Congress calling on President Obama to issue an executive order prohibiting federal contractors without sexual orientation and gender identity anti-discrimination policies from receiving federal funds. All workers should be free from workplace discrimination and it is unconscionable for tax dollars to go to companies that do not have equal protection policies.
"It is time that we put an end to discrimination in our nation once and for all. The equal treatment of all Americans is the guiding principle of our democracy and we need to make sure that our laws reflect the values we support. Whether it is in the workplace or in our communities, all Americans deserve to be treated the same.
"I am thrilled by today's ruling and optimistic that it well usher in a new era of equality in our nation. I look forward to standing resolute in the fight to tear down the remaining barriers standing before the LGBT community and I applaud the Court for its decision today, which moved us closer toward total equality."