Press

Task Force: 'Respect for Marriage Act' marks 'step toward closing an ugly chapter in our nation's history'

Date: 
September 15, 2009

MEDIA CONTACT:
Inga Sarda-Sorensen
Director of Communications
(Office) 646.358.1463
(Cell) 202.641.5592
isorensen@theTaskForce.org

Applauds today's introduction of legislation to repeal
discriminatory 'Defense of Marriage Act'

WASHINGTON, Sept. 15 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund applauds today's introduction of the "Respect for Marriage Act," which would repeal the "Defense of Marriage Act," a 1996 law requiring the federal government to single out legally married same-sex couples for discriminatory treatment under federal law, selectively denying those couples more than 1,100 federal protections and responsibilities that otherwise apply to married couples. U.S. Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) Jared Polis (D-Colo.), along with Reps. John Conyers (D-Mich.), John Lewis (D-Ga.), Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.) and Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), introduced the DOMA repeal measure today. Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey spoke at the press conference announcing the introduction of the "Respect for Marriage Act."

Statement by Rea Carey, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund

"We thank Reps. Nadler, Baldwin, Polis, Conyers, Lewis, Velazquez and Lee for introducing this bill to dismantle one of the most discriminatory and far-reaching laws to emerge against our community: the so-called 'Defense of Marriage Act.'

"DOMA is and has always been an immoral attack on same-sex couples, our families and our fundamental humanity. This hateful law has only served to discriminate against people and belittle our country's heralded values of freedom, fairness and justice. It is long past time to repeal DOMA, which has left a moral scar on this country. Today marks an important step toward closing an ugly chapter in our nation's history, and for working to ensure same-sex couples and our families are treated fairly. Too many families have been hurt for far too long because of DOMA.

"We at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, along with people all across the country — from every town and every background — recognize that our entire nation benefits when everyone is allowed to contribute their talents and skills, free from discrimination. That's why we are urging for passage of the 'Respect for Marriage Act.'"

Read Rea Carey's full remarks from today's press conference here.


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The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund, founded in 1974 as the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Inc., works to build the grassroots political power of the LGBT community to win complete equality. We do this through direct and grassroots lobbying to defeat anti-LGBT ballot initiatives and legislation and pass pro-LGBT legislation and other measures. We also analyze and report on the positions of candidates for public office on issues of importance to the LGBT community. The Task Force Action Fund is a 501(c)(4) non-profit corporation incorporated in New York. Contributions to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund are not tax deductible.