Freedom to Marry Names New Federal Director to Help Lead DOMA Repeal Effort

Written by Jo Deutsch, Freedom to Marry's new Federal Director

In the last few weeks, my 10-year-old daughter beautifully voiced the need for the freedom to marry by testifying in front of a Maryland Senate Committee; the Maryland Senate passed the Civil Marriage Protection Act; the Maryland House didn’t; President Obama announced his decision not to defend DOMA in court; and I was offered the job opportunity of a lifetime to work as Federal Director for Freedom to Marry here in Washington, DC. That’s moving forward in 4 out of 5 examples – which in my book are winning odds.

As the newest member of the Freedom to Marry team I will help expand the national campaign to win the freedom to marry nationwide with a special focus on ending federal marriage discrimination.

Today, I will join with Freedom to Marry as our key supporters in the U.S. House and Senate introduce the Respect for Marriage Act, legislation to repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act. DOMA prohibits the federal recognition of marriages between same-sex couples denying them more than 1,200 responsibilities and protections associated with marriage.

A new poll released yesterday shows that 51% of American voters oppose DOMA and efforts by the House Republican leadership to intervene in court cases defending the law. Only 34% were in favor. We have the majority of American voters now saying this law is wrong and needs to be repealed.

The lead sponsors of the Respect for Marriage Act are Senators Dianne Feinstein D-CA, Patrick Leahy D-VT, Kirsten Gillibrand D-NY, Chris Coons D-DE and Richard Blumenthal D-CT and in the House, Representatives Jerrold Nadler D-NY, Barney Frank D-MA, Tammie Baldwin D-WI, Jared Polis D-CO, David Cicilline D-RI, and John Conyers D-MI. The legislation will repeal DOMA in its entirety and is a crucial and exciting step in our Roadmap to Victory.

We’ll report more on the introduction of the Respect for Marriage Act later today.

Because of the important nature of the legislation, we need President Obama to support the freedom to marry for all loving and committed couples. Freedom to Marry has joined with Hollywood celebrities, tech and business leaders, civil rights heroes, and musicians on an open letter to President Obama urging him to the majority of Americans who support the freedom to marry by saying, “I do” to ending marriage discrimination. Nearly 30,000 people have co-signed the letter. You can join them and sign the letter here.