Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) signs on as Respect for Marriage Act co-sponsor

Today, Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) became the 44th United States Senator to co-sponsor the Respect for Marriage Act (S. 1236), the bill that would fully repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, definitively ending federal marriage discrimination and ensuring certainty regardless of where a legally married same-sex couple lives.

Last year, Senator Tester explained why he supports the freedom to marry for same-sex couples. He said:

Montanans believe in the right to make a good life for their families. How they define a family should be their business and their business alone. I’m proud to support marriage equality because no one should be able to tell a Montanan or any American who they can love and who they can marry

The Respect for Marriage Act was reintroduced in the House by Rep. Nadler and Senate by Sen. Feinstein on June 26, 2013. The reintroduction came the same day that the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the central part of DOMA, the law that restricted the federal government from recognizing marriages between same-sex couples, denying them 1,100+ protections and responsibilities triggered by marriage at the federal level.

When the Respect for Marriage Act was reintroduced last summer on June 26, Freedom to Marry founder and President Evan Wolfson applauded the move, explaining why it is important to remove DOMA from the books. He said:

With today's decisive Supreme Court ruling applying constitutional command of equal protection to overturn a central part of the so-called ‘Defense of Marriage Act,' Congress should move immediately to end federal marriage discrimination once and for all. Freedom to Marry applauds the sponsors and record numbers of supporters in both the House and Senate, and calls on Congress to get DOMA off the books and make clear that, while the federal government doesn't tell states what to do, it must respect and protect all married couples throughout the U.S. As the Supreme Court today reaffirmed, in America we don't have second-class citizens, and we shouldn't have second-class marriages, either.

Read more about the Respect for Marriage Act HERE, and see all of the co-sponsors in the Senate HERE