In 1996, President Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act into law, officially denying same sex couples more than 1000 federal rights and protections and overturning the long history of states respecting each other's legal acts. In 2009, New York Representative Jerrold Nadler introduced the Respect for Marriage Act, which would overturn DOMA, reaffirming that all marriages, regardless of sexuality, deserve respect and official federal protection.
With the President now calling for repeal of the military's destructive and insulting Don't Ask Don't Tell policy, now is the time to move forward on marriage equality as well. Respect for Marriage will NOT force any state to perform same sex marriages against its will, and it will NOT force churches or any other organizations to do so, either. It will merely extend the basic benefits of marriage (inheritance of Social Security benefits, immigration rights, tax status) to legally married same sex couples.
Please let your representative know how essential this legislation is.
Tens of thousands of same sex couples are currently living in limbo in this country. Although their home states have recognized their unions, they still cannot file their Federal income taxes as married, they cannot sponsor each other for resident alien status, and their marriages become effectively null and void the moment they cross the state border.
This situation is simply untenable, exposing American citizens to abuse and denying them the simplest of protections which are beyond question for every other married couple.
Please join the growing majority who recognize that marriage is good for society, regardless of sexuality.