Assistant Democratic Leader signs on to Respect for Marriage Act
September 24, 2012
This week, Congressman James Clyburn signed on as a co-sponsor for the Respect for Marriage Act. In doing so, Rep. Clyburn, who serves as the Assistant Democratic Leader and is from South Carolina, rounded out support from the House of Representatives' Democratic Leadership, who now all co-sponsor the bill. His support follows previous support from House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, and Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson. The total number of co-sponsors for the Respect for Marriage Act now stands at 157 in the House and 33 in the Senate.
The Respect for Marriage Act is the bill that would repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, which federally prohibits respect of lawful marriages between same-sex couples and denies married same-sex couples over 1,100 protections afforded to different-sex married couples.
Freedom to Marry is a chair of the Respect for Marriage Coalition, a partnership of over 80 civil rights, faith, health, labor, legal, LGBT, student, and women's organizations working to build support for the passage of the Respect for Marriage Act. You can learn more about the Coalition by visiting the Respect for Marriage Coalition microsite HERE.
Rep. Clyburn's co-sponsorship is in line with this year's surge of support for the freedom to marry among Democratic politicians. President Barack Obama became the first sitting president to voice his personal support for marriage for all couples in May, and in August, the Democratic Party became the first major U.S. political party ever to officially support the freedom to marry for all couples in their national party platform. This most recent leap forward occured after our months-long Democrats: Say I Do campaign.
Freedom to Marry applauds Rep. Clyburn's official support for the Respect for Marriage Act. We thank him and the 156 other co-sponsors for their leadership in speaking out against DOMA, which has been hurting same-sex couples in the United States for the past 16 years.