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.