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NEW: Cicilline Applauds Decision Ruling Defense of Marriage Act Unconstitutional

Thursday, May 31, 2012


Today, Representatives Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Barney Frank (D-MA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Jared Polis (D-CO), David Cicilline (D-RI), and John Conyers (D-MI) – the lead sponsors of the Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) – applauded the 1st Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ decision in the case of Gill, et al. v. Office of Personnel Management, et al. affirming the District Court ruling that DOMA is unconstitutional. The members recently spearheaded an amicus brief, joined by 127 additional House colleagues, filed in this case, which explained to the Court in detail why DOMA is unconstitutional.

The members issued the following joint statement:

“Today’s decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit that DOMA is indeed unconstitutional is a major victory in the march toward justice for married gay and lesbian couples. By ruling that DOMA violates the Equal Protection guarantee of the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause, the Court has reaffirmed that lesbians and gay men cannot legally be singled out for special discrimination. This decision underscores the reality that there is absolutely no federal interest served by denying married same-sex couples the federal responsibilities and rights that other married couples receive, and that the harm caused to these families is unjustifiable.

“It has been 16 years since Congress enacted DOMA, and the materials and arguments being made to defend the law do not withstand the test of time or scrutiny. All loving couples deserve the same opportunity to marry and to have their marriages treated with equal regard by the government. Moreover, the increasing momentum challenging DOMA – by the public, in the courts, in Congress, and in the Obama administration – demonstrates that it is simply a matter of time before this discriminatory law is thrown out, once and for all. That day cannot come soon enough for the thousands of families being harmed by this shameful law on a daily basis, and that is why we, along with many of our colleagues, will continue to fight for its end, be it through the Congress or the courts.”


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