Press Releases

Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), lead author of legislation to repeal DOMA (Respect for Marriage Act, S. 598), today applauded the Washington State Legislature and Governor Christine Gregoire for passing and signing marriage equality legislation.

“I am pleased that the Washington State Legislature and Governor Gregoire have recognized the rights of same-sex couples to marry,” said Senator Feinstein. “Coming on the heels of the Ninth Circuit decision on Proposition 8, the fight for marriage equality has taken another big step forward.  Today, the District of Columbia and six states—Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and most recently New York—recognize same-sex marriage. I applaud Governor Gregoire and the members of the legislature who voted for fairness and equality.”

Senator Feinstein’s Respect for Marriage Act (S. 598) strikes DOMA from federal law and would restore more than 1,100 federal rights to same-sex married couples including the right to file joint federal incomes taxes and receive spousal benefits under Social Security. Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell (both D-Wash.) are cosponsors of Senator Feinstein’s bill to repeal DOMA.

“The next step should be a federal repeal of the so-called ‘Defense of Marriage Act,’ known as DOMA.  Attitudes are changing across the country. We know Prop 8 was wrong.  DOMA was wrong.  These policies enshrine discrimination in this country, and, we must change them,” continued Feinstein.

In 1996, Feinstein was one of 14 senators who voted against the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that defined marriage under federal law as between one man and one woman. Feinstein’s repeal-DOMA legislation has 31 cosponsors.