As you may know, the issue of same-sex marriage is currently before the courts in Hawaii. Since many right-wing opponents fear that Hawaii will eventually recognize same sex marriages -- which the federal government and other states might also have to recognize -- they have introduced the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in both the House and the Senate (H.R. 3396 and S. 1740). This bill would allow states and the federal government to ignore same sex marriages if they become legal in some state, or states, at some time in the future.
We need to discourage representatives and senators from supporting this bill in any way.
Contact your senators and representatives and ask them to vote "no" on the Defense of Marriage Act.
White House Press Secretary Mike McCurry announced that President Clinton will sign the bill if it reaches his desk in its current form. Tell President Clinton that he must veto the bill if it reaches his desk.
URGE HOUSE MEMBERS TO VOTE AGAINST DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE ACT
The House of Representatives will be voting on the Defense of Marriage Act (H.R. 3396) (DOMA), prohibiting same sex marriage, late tonight (7/11) or early Friday (7/12). The measure will be taken up late tonight if the House concludes debate on the Labor/HHS Appropriations bill and votes on this; but this is not expected to happen until 9 or 10 p.m. For the DOMA debate, Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) will offer two amendments: the first would strike Section 3, which denies federal benefits to same sex couples. The second is an amendment that would allow federal benefits to same sex couples in states where same sex marriage has been legalized.
: Contact your Member of the House tonight (7/11) or early Friday morning, by 10 a.m. EST. If you don't have the member's phone number call the main Congressional number: (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected to that Member's office.
Urge your House members to vote for the Frank amendments, but to vote against the bill in its entirety.
A hearing was held today in the Senate Judiciary Committee, with no action taken. Senator Kennedy indicated his interest in incorporating the End to Nondiscrimination in Employment Act (ENDA - S. 932) to DOMA(S. 1740). But did not make a motion to do so. (He may do this on the floor, later, however.) Mark-up has not been scheduled as yet, but Chairman Orin Hatch may schedule this for next week or the following week. DOMA is listed on the Senate priorities to be acted upon before the August recess.