Unable to ignore the national conversation about fairness for all families, state and federal legislators are introducing bills and discussing the need to end the unfair exclusion from marriage for all loving and committed same-sex couples.
Since 2007, when the Massachusetts legislature overwhelmingly defeated an anti-marriage constitutional amendment, state legislative bodies in Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, and Washington have signed into law the freedom to marry. Meanwhile, a critical mass of lawmakers for the freedom to marry continues to grow in several key states, while legislators in places like Illinois have taken important steps toward marriage in providing a measure of protections to same-sex couples through civil union.
At the federal level, a growing number of elected legislators have supported protecting families by calling for the end of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, the law that prohibits federal respect of lawful marriages between same-sex couples. In 2009, in the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) with 90 initial co-sponsors introduced the “Respect for Marriage Act,” which would repeal DOMA in its entirety.
More legislators are standing on clear principle, reinvigorating the discussion about the basic American value of fairness, our shared aspirations for a secure family life, and the pursuit of happiness.
Blog Posts Related to Legislative
Yesterday, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed the state’s marriage bill into law.
Yesterday, October 28, a key Hawaii committee voted to advance a bill to extend the freedom to marry to same-sex couples in Hawaii. The Senate Judiciary and Labor Committee voted 5-2 to send the bill to the full Senate, where a vote is expected this week.
Today, several members of the U.S. House of Representatives introduced a new piece of legislation that would allow individuals, institutions, and government contractors to discriminate against legally married same-sex couples simply by asserting religious opposition.
Resources Related to Legislative
A listing of marriage polling at the federal, national, and state level.
Lambda Legal, American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Equality Maryland, and the American Civil Liberties Union: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Guide for same-sex couples in Maryland who married out of state.
Which Congresspersons are currently cosponsors of the Respect for Marriage Act?