Senator Bob Menendez announces support for the freedom to marry

Today, Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) announced his support for the freedom to marry and the Respect for Marriage Act in the Star Ledger, New Jersey’s largest newspaper. This makes him the 32nd Senate sponsor of the landmark legislation, which would overturn the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

“Freedom to Marry applauds Senator Menendez for joining the growing list of senators who call on the federal government to end its discriminatory treatment of married same-sex couples,” said Marc Solomon, National Campaign Director for Freedom to Marry. “The so-called Defense of Marriage Act treats committed gay and lesbian couples as second-class citizens and denies them a crucial safety net of protections.  We congratulate our state partner, Garden State Equality, which has worked smartly and tirelessly to make the case to Senator Menendez about the importance of the freedom to marry and the harms of DOMA.  We thank Senator Menendez for his commitment to fairness and justice for all Americans, and look forward to working with him to secure the passage of this bill.”

Steven Goldstein, Chair and CEO of Garden State Equality, said: “This is a spectacular moment in our movement to end discrimination in marriage.  As we in New Jersey know well, when Bob Menendez comes on board a cause, you gain more than a supporter – you gain a passionate civil rights champion that never stops fighting by your side.  We at Garden State Equality thank not only Senator Menendez, but also Freedom to Marry and our other national partners that have been indispensible in our fight for equality.”

Freedom to Marry has worked throughout the year with Garden State Equality and other state and national organizations to increase the number of cosponsors for the Respect for Marriage Act in Congress and build momentum for its passage. Currently, there are a record number of supporters in both the House, where the bill has 134 sponsors, and in the Senate, now with 32 sponsors, including every Democratic member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which voted in November to advance the Respect for Marriage Act to the full Senate.

Click here to read the full editorial in the Star Ledger. Thank you, Senator Menendez!