Congressman Hanna Becomes 2nd Republican to Cosponsor Respect for Marriage Act


For Immediate Release 

Press Contact:
Angela Dallara
Communications Associate, Freedom to Marry

New York – Congressman Richard Hanna (R-NY) announced his support today for the Respect for Marriage Act (HR 1116), the bill to repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and end federal marriage discrimination against same-sex couples. He is the 159th cosponsor of the bill, and the second Republican cosponsor.

“I respect the deeply held beliefs on both sides of this issue,” Hanna said in a statement. “The simple fact remains that the federal government has a responsibility to ensure all legally married couples are treated equally under federal law – and this bill would achieve that proper standard.”

Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) became the first Republican cosponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act in 2011. Prominent Republicans who have expressed broad support for the freedom to marry include former Vice President Dick Cheney, former First Lady Laura Bush and her daughter Barbara Bush, former RNC chairman Ken Mehlman, and former Secretary of State Colin Powell. Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry, which launched in July, elevates the voices of the rapidly growing number of Republicans, libertarians, and other conservatives across the country who support marriage.

Jo Deutsch, federal director of Freedom to Marry, said: “Congressman Hanna is showing true leadership today by cosponsoring this landmark bill to put an end to the federal government's exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage. He knows how critical it is to his constituents -- and all Americans -- that every married couple, gay or straight, has the same protections under the law. We urge other Congressional Republicans to stand on the right side of history and join Congressman Hanna in supporting the Respect for Marriage Act.”

Freedom to Marry's federal program works to repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and make the case for marriage to government officials, opinion leaders, and political operatives in Washington, DC. Freedom to Marry and HRC lead the Respect for Marriage Coalition, a diverse group of 85 organizations working together to repeal DOMA.


Freedom to Marry is the campaign to win marriage nationwide. We are pursuing our Roadmap to Victory by working to win the freedom to marry in more states, grow the national majority for marriage, and end federal marriage discrimination. We partner with individuals and organizations across the country to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage and the protections, responsibilities, and commitment that marriage brings.