November 03, 2011

Gillibrand Statement as Key Senate Committee Begins Debate to Repeal “Defense of Marriage Act”

Praises Chairman Leahy for Building Momentum to End Discrimination, Recognize Marriages of All Loving Committed Couples

Washington, D.C. – After the Senate Judiciary Committee began debate this morning on the Respect for Marriage Act, legislation to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand issued the following statement:

“I applaud Chairman Leahy for beginning this historic debate to end the discrimination that is currently enshrined into U.S. law.

“Marriage is the true foundation for strong families. Every loving, committed couple deserves the basic human right to get married, start a family, and have access to all the same rights and privileges that my husband and I enjoy. No politician should stand in the way of this fact.

“If Democrats and Republicans can come together to do what’s right in New York, I know we can do the same in Congress to do what’s right for all of America. Now is the time to act on the federal level.”

Senator Gillibrand is an original co-sponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act, which was authored by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), and co-sponsored by Senators Leahy (D-Vt.), John Kerry (D-Mass.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Frank R. Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Mark Udall (D-Colo.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Dan Inouye (D-Hawaii), and Daniel Akaka(D-Hawaii).