By Bonnie Grabenhofer, NOW Executive Vice President
I was proud to stand at a press conference today with Congressman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) when he announced that he is introducing legislation to repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
On Capitol Hill at the Sept. 15 introduction of DOMA-repeal legislation: (Left to right) NOW legal intern Gordy Gustafson, NOW Executive Vice President Bonnie Grabenhofer, Iowa equal marriage plaintiffs Dawn and Jen BarbouRoske, and their daughters Breeanna and McKinley.
I was especially touched by the story told by a lesbian couple and their two wonderful daughters who were overjoyed to finally be able to be married in Iowa after being together for 19 years — they described it as a “long engagement.”
Nineteen years is a long time to wait! Even though they were finally married in Iowa, under DOMA they are denied federal marriage benefits, and other states may refuse to recognize their marriage — denying privileges that are taken for granted by heterosexual couples when they move or travel from state to state.
It is long past time for DOMA to be repealed. DOMA is blatant discrimination and bigotry — subjecting same-sex couples to the tyranny of the majority. It defends no one’s marriage and only serves to harm loving couples and their families — families that deserve the same recognition and legal protections as their neighbors.
Let’s get to work to support this important piece of legislation, the Respect for Marriage Act.