All loving and committed couples deserve equal recognition and protection under the law. But for the past 14 years, the immoral and absurdly named "Defense of Marriage Act" (DOMA) has denied same-sex partners more than 1,100 federal protections and responsibilities that otherwise apply to married couples.
Recently, President Obama signaled that he was beginning to reverse course on his stand against marriage equality. He called the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional and instructed his Department of Justice to refuse to defend the law in court where its constitutionality is being challenged.
Speaker John Boehner and Republicans in the House countered this progressive step by using taxpayer dollars to hire private attorneys to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court, taking it all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary to protect the right to discriminate against gay and lesbian couples.
But finally, Republicans have gone too far and politicians in the House and Senate have decided to mount a serious effort to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. Senators Feinstein, Gillibrand, and Leahy in the Senate, and Reps. Baldwin, Cicilline, Conyers, Frank, Nadler, and Polis in the House have introduced the "Respect for Marriage Act" in Congress.
Our nation benefits when everyone is allowed to live their lives free from discrimination. And repealing the Defense of Marriage Act would be an important step forward. With a federal judiciary packed with ultra-conservative judges and with a conservative majority on the Supreme Court, the legal route to ending this unconstitutional law is by no means guaranteed.
While many have voiced opposition to the Defense of Marriage Act in the past, it is only in the wake of the president's action and Speaker Boehner's aggressive response that a serious attempt to repeal the bill has been mounted by lawmakers.
This is a fight we can win. Lawmakers who already support the bill need to hear from you that you back them in their stand. A recent poll showed for the first time that a majority of Americans support marriage equality. But even progressives in Congress have constituents who oppose it. They need to be able to tell the voters that repealing the Defense of Marriage Act is not only the right thing to do -- it's also what people they represent have asked them to do.
Tell Congress: Fight to pass the Respect for Marriage Act and repeal the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act.
These Democrats are taking their case for the Respect Marriage Act to the people. They need to demonstrate widespread public support for repealing the Defense of Marriage Act so they can convince their colleagues not only to support their legislation but also to prioritize it's passage and move it as quickly as possible through Congress. So please join us in signing the petition, then passing it along to friends and family and posting the action on Facebook and Twitter.