Congressman Hanna becomes 2nd Republican cosponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act

Today, Congressman Richard Hanna (R-NY) announced his support for the Respect for Marriage Act, bill HR-1116, which would repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, the law that currently prohibits federal respect for lawful marriages between same-sex couples. Congressman Hanna is the 159th cosponsor of the bill and the second Republican cosponsor.

Congressman Hanna released a statement about the news today. He said:

I respect the deeply held beliefs on both sides of this issue. The simple fact remains that the federal government has a responsibility to ensure all legally married couples are treated equally under federal law - and this bill would achieve that proper standard. 

Congressman Hanna joins Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) as Republican cosponsors of the bill. They are leaders in a growing contingent of Republican politicians and figures who have expressed broad support for the freedom to marry. Many prominent Republicans, including former RNC chairman Ken Mehlman, former Vice President Dick Cheney, former First Lady Laura Bush and her daughter Barbara Bush, and former Secretary of State Colin Powell, have said they support ending the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage. In July, Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marrylaunched in order to amplify the voices of the rapidly growing number of Republicans, libertarians, and other conservatives in the United States who support marriage for same-sex couples.

Freedom to Marry Federal Director Jo Deutsch commented on the big news today. She said:

Congressman Hanna is showing true leadership today by cosponsoring this landmark bill to put an end to the federal government's exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage. He knows how critical it is to his constituents - and all Americans - that every married couple, gay or straight, has the same protections under the law. We urge other Congressional Republicans to stand on the right side of history and join Congressman Hanna in supporting the Respect for Marriage Act. 

Check out the entire list of cosponsors for the Respect for Marriage Act in the House of Representatives and in the Senate. And learn more about the Defense of Marriage Act HERE