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|White House: President Obama supports bill to repeal DOMA|
|Written by Ryan Watkins|
|Tuesday, 19 July 2011 14:59|
White House spokesperson Jay Carney told reporters during a White House briefing on July 19 that President Obama supports the Respect for Marriage Act, a bill that would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act.
The 1996 law defines marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman. Carney said that the president was “proud” to support the repeal effort. Obama has stated his desire to see that law repealed in the past but had not yet publicly endorsed the Respect for Marriage Act, according to DC-based LGBT news outlet MetroWeekly.
The bill, introduced in the Senate by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), would repeal DOMA and allow the federal government to provide benefits to couples in same-sex marriages. The first hearing on the Respect for Marriage Act will take place tomorrow.
Equality advocates were quick to praise the president for his endorsement. Evan Wolfson, founder and President of Freedom to Marry urged members Congress to join the president in support of the repeal effort.
“The federal government should not be picking and choosing which marriages it will honor and which it will disregard when it comes to the important federal protections that come with marriage, such as Social Security, health coverage, fair tax treatment, and immigration rights,” Wolfson said.
“Congress should follow the President's lead and return the federal government to its traditional practice of honoring all lawful marriages equally – without the 'gay exception' of DOMA.”
Earlier this year, the Department of Justice announced that it would no longer defend DOMA in court because it believed portions of the law to be unconstitutional.
Top photo: President Obama (via C-Span)
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