U.S. Congress Files DOMA Brief

Senators Mark Warner & Tim Kaine

Last Friday, 212 members of Congress signed an amicus brief asking the Supreme Court to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act.  The brief also includes 25 members who voted for DOMA back in 1996.

“Some States still criminalized same-sex relationships, inviting further discrimination against gay men and lesbians in employment, family relations, and housing,” the brief says. “…As a result, when the question of same-sex marriage arose in 1996, reflexive beliefs and discomfort about same-sex relationships dominated congressional debate. From our perspective—including those of us who voted for DOMA—debate and passage of the law did not necessarily arise ‘from malice or hostile animus,’ but instead from ‘insensitivity caused by simple want of careful, rational reflection or from some instinctive mechanism to guard against people who appear to be different in some respects from ourselves.’”

Download the Amicus Brief here.

All of Virginia’s Congressional Democrats signed the brief including:

  • Sen. Mark Warner
  • Sen. Tim Kaine
  • Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott
  • Rep. James “Jim” Moran, Jr.
  • Rep. Gerald Connolly
“To me, repeal of DOMA is an issue of fairness. Under DOMA, committed relationships legally recognized by some states are made financially and legally unequal in many ways: taxes, inheritance, insurance benefits, and a thousand other rights and benefits that the federal government routinely grants to other married couples,” Sen. Warner said in a statement.  ”I am proud to lend my name to the amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to reverse this discriminatory law. Marriage equality now receives growing bipartisan support, and DOMA repeal is supported by a significant number of leading U.S. businesses, who correctly believe that DOMA represents an impediment to economic competitiveness.”

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