California Democrats Target DOMA

McClatchy Newspapers
October 2, 2009
The idea of repealing the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is gaining plenty of momentum among California Democrats. In the House, 22 of them -- including Sacramento's Doris Matsui -- are among the 97 co-sponsors of the Respect for Marriage Act (RMA) introduced two weeks ago by New York Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler that would dump DOMA. [Link]

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Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley Sends Letter to Congress Supporting the Respect for Ma

Office of Mssachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley
September 25, 2009
The Respect for Marriage Act, which is sponsored by Congressmen Jerrold Nadler of New York and has 91 co-sponsors, seeks to fully repeal all three sections of DOMA, including Section 3 which defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman and is currently the subject of a lawsuit filed by Attorney General Coakley’s Office in July 2009. “I applaud the legislative efforts to take direct action to repeal DOMA and fully support this bill because it addresses the failings of the law head-on." [Link]

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Voice for Equality: David Hoffman

David Hoffman served as Chicago's Inspector General from October, 2005 until August, 2009, when he resigned from his Inspector General post to run for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Roland Burris. He joined a thin field of Democratic candidates pursuing the seat including Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias and Chicago Urban League President Cheryle Jackson. The likely GOP candidate will be Mark Kirk. To learn more [Link]

On September 21, 2009, Hoffman's office issued the following statement in support of marriage equality to the Chicago Tribune:

David Hoffman does not believe the government should intrude or discriminate on the question of who people decide to marry and spend the rest of their lives together. It's an issue of equality and fundamental fairness and all people -- regardless of sexual orientation -- should be provided the same protection under the law.

David also supports the Respect for Marriage Act bill to repeal DOMA. As a matter of constitutional law, a contract entered into in one state should be honored by all states. Just as the sanctity of opposite sex marriages in a state are honored by other states, so should the marriages of same sex couples. Without this protection, opposite sex couples can file a joint tax form and receive a tax benefit. Under present law, same sex couples can't. That's wrong. It's discrimination. And the bill to repeal the law should be adopted by congress and signed into law by President Obama, who supports the measure. [Link]
Freedom to Marry salutes David Hoffman as a Voice for Equality!

If you're inspired by Mr. Hoffman's support...why not get involved? Link to No on 1/Protect Maine Equality to find out how you can help with the vital work of preserving marriage equality in Maine!

**Make your NOMINATION for a Voice for Equality today!

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Voice for Equality: Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer

Earl Blumenauer is an American politician and lawyer from the state of Oregon. A native of Portland, he spent over 20 years as a public official representing the city before winning election to the United States House of Representatives in 1996. A Democrat, he represents Oregon's 3rd congressional district which includes most of Portland east of the Willamette River.

In conjunction with the introduction of the Respect for Marriage Act (RMA) by Rep. Jerrold Nadler on September 15, 2009, Rep. Earl Blumenauer wrote a piece on the Huffington Post opening with the line, "On July 12, 1996, I cast the worst vote of my political career," - referring to his vote for the so-called "Defense of Marriage Act." Among his other comments in the piece:

I long ago recognized and acknowledged the mistake I made, and I have spent time understanding the problems in my thinking and analysis. It has resulted in frank and important conversations with many gay and lesbian friends, and if anything it has strengthened my commitment to the cause of banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and has made me a better lawmaker. I will work to make sure that my colleagues who once, for whatever reason, joined me in supporting this ill-advised measure [the Defense of Marriage Act] take this opportunity to correct their record and eliminate an injustice. [Link]

Freedom to Marry salutes Congressman Earl Blumenauer as a Voice for Equality!

If you're inspired by Congressman Blumenauer's words and support...why not get involved? Link to No on 1/Protect Maine Equality to find out how you can help with the vital work of preserving marriage equality in Maine!

**Make your NOMINATION for a Voice for Equality today!

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Richard Socarides: Clinton’s Change on DOMA Could Affect Supreme Court

The Advocate
September 28, 2009
Richard Socarides, a special assistant and LGBT adviser to Bill Clinton during his administration, says Clinton's remarks to Anderson Cooper on Friday about changing his mind on DOMA could help create a shift in the political winds that might reach the courts. [Link]

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U.S. Office of Personnel Management Director, John Berry: Passing ENDA Key to DOMA Repeal

The Washington Blade
September 28, 2009
The highest-ranking openly gay appointee in Obama's administration is encouraging LGBT Americans to make passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act their No. 1 priority and said its success would place within reach other civil rights goals, including the repeals of Don't Ask Don't Tell and DOMA. [Link]

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Text of Respect for Marriage Act

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The Respect for Marriage Act of 2009: What is it and what will it do?

Lambda Legal
September 15, 2009
An overview of questions and answers regarding the Respect for Marriage Act. [Link]

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Vermont Congressman Peter Welch: Repealing DOMA is a Matter of Fairness

Times Argus (Vermont)
September 17, 2009
U.S. Representative Peter Welch is one of 90 House Democrats supporting a repeal of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act. Welch says the issue comes down to state's rights. Before DOMA was passed, marriage was left up to individual states to decide. With the introduction of the act, the federal government interfered with that historic right. "Repealing DOMA will put us back on the track that we were on for hundreds of years," he said. [Link]

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Op-Ed: Without marriage equality, there is no equality

Aurora Sentinel (Colorado)
September 16, 2009
After years of discrimination, the United States is ready to join the rest of the enlightened, democratic world and finally stand behind the country’s long withheld promise of equality. As Americans, we should be able to choose our companions regardless of their race, social status, income level, religious background or something as personal as sexual orientation. [Link]

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