Ending Federal Marriage Discrimination
Ending federal marriage discrimination by bringing down the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” was one of the three synergistic tracks in Freedom to Marry’s Roadmap to Victory strategy. In this section, read about the work of Freedom to Marry’s federal program to build opposition to DOMA among Beltway opinion-leaders as well as in the Administration, Congress, and the courts, and to leverage that progress to assist progress in state battles and in public opinion.
A critical component of Freedom to Marry’s 3-track national strategy, the “Roadmap to Victory,” was tackling and ending federal marriage discrimination, that is, challenging and bringing down the federal so-called “Defense of Marriage Act.” This required a robust presence in our nation's capital willing to push the freedom to marry and build support within the beltway, leveraging the work underway around the country, even when political elites and insiders didn’t want to deal with it. Freedom to Marry established its D.C. office - and powerful federal program - in early 2011. Over four years, the federal program worked to build support for the freedom to marry among key national organizations, members of the United States Congress, and the White House, as well as across the country through various organizing programs and by using the Respect for Marriage Act as a vehicle for education and lobbying. Freedom to Marry’s federal program supported the Obama administration through every step of implementing the U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down the core of DOMA in 2013, thereby bringing federal respect for marriages to couples across the country, even those living in states that still discriminated.Read More
One of the key vehicles for organizing around the Respect for Marriage Act and ending federal marriage discrimination was the Respect for Marriage Coalition, launched by Freedom to Marry in February 2012 with the Human Rights Campaign as co-chair. The Coalition was a partnership of organizations working together to build support on Capitol Hill for the Respect for Marriage Act and to repeal the discriminatory DOMA.Read More
Freedom to Marry’s federal program – which set out to end federal marriage discrimination, one of the three tracks of the Roadmap to Victory – launched simultaneously with the introduction of the Respect for Marriage Act in the 112th United States Congress. The landmark legislation aimed for repeal of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and provided the federal program with a vital vehicle through which it could coordinate support on Capitol Hill and enlist powerful voices of elected officials to speak out for the freedom to marry. Here’s a look at the work behind the legislation.Read More
Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 2013 decision in Windsor v. United States striking down Section 3 of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, Freedom to Marry pursued a multi-prong strategy alongside national partners and the movement’s legal organizations to secure swift and full implementation of the ruling. The goal was to work with (and, as needed, on) the Administration to ensure that legally married same-sex couples were treated as married by the federal government for all federal programs and purposes no matter where they lived – including in states that continued to discriminate.Read More