Feb 23 2012
Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), lead author of legislation to repeal DOMA (Respect for Marriage Act, S. 598), today applauded U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White’s ruling that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.
“Judge White is now the second federal judge appointed by a Republican President to find DOMA unconstitutional. His decision finds that DOMA denies legally-married, same-sex couples equal protection of the law, and I couldn’t agree more.
DOMA denies the 131,000 legally-married, same-sex couples in this country more than 1,100 federal rights and protections. We should repeal this unconstitutional, discriminatory legislation once and for all, by passing the Respect for Marriage Act.
Judge White’s decision should allow Karen Golinski, a federal employee, to obtain federal health benefits for her spouse – a right other federal employees exercise routinely without having to fight for it in court.
Like the Ninth Circuit’s recent decision striking down Proposition 8, this decision is an important step in the march toward equality.
My bill to repeal DOMA has 31 cosponsors in the Senate, and it has been approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Washington and New York recently enacted legislation recognizing same-sex marriage. Maryland appears poised to do so. The New Jersey Legislature also recently passed such legislation.
We are on the cusp of historic change. I don’t know how long the fight to strike DOMA from federal law will take, but I will keep fighting until the battle is won.”
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 rights to file joint federal income taxes and receive spousal benefits under Social Security.
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.