Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is the first Republican member of Congress to support the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) by signing on as a co-sponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act!
The path to full marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples has been challenging and exhilarating and finally we've reached a tipping point moment.
Public opinion has shifted dramatically in the direction of equality. More Americans from both sides of aisle and across religious traditions are recognizing the importance of marriage equality. However, one of the biggest obstacles that remains is the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
Passed 15 years ago, DOMA bars the federal government from recognizng legally married gay and lesbian couples and allows individual states to do the same.
But there is good news. The Obama administration's Department of Justice now refuses to enforce portions of DOMA that have been deemed unconstitutional and addition legal challenges will likely deal more crucial blows to this law that denies couples the 1,138 federal protections that come with marriage.
Take a moment to thank Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen for standing up for equality!
The Respect for Marriage Act (H.R. 1116 & S. 598) repeals DOMA and restores the rights of all lawfully married couples--including same-sex couples--to receive the benefits of marriage under federal law. The bill also guarantees legally married gay and lesbian couples the federal benefits and protections of marriage regardless of where they live in the United States.