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Friday, January 14, 2011

Evan Wolfson Comments on the Department of Justice’s Defense of So-Called ‘DOMA’

Below is a statement from Evan Wolfson, Executive Director of Freedom to Marry, on the Department of Justice’s filing in defense of the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA):
“Freedom to Marry regrets that the Department of Justice continues to defend a law that President Obama has repeatedly said is discriminatory – a law that the Republican Congressman who sponsored it back in 1996, Bob Barr, and the Democratic President who signed it, Bill Clinton, now agree should be repudiated.”
“So-called ‘DOMA’ harms married same-sex couples by withholding from them alone the more than one thousand federal responsibilities and protections of marriage accorded all other married couples – including Social Security survivor benefits, tax fairness, access to health coverage, and recognition of family ties for immigration purposes.  Equally destructively, DOMA carves married Americans into two classes, discriminating against one of them.   In America, we don’t have second-class citizens and we shouldn't have second-class marriages either.”
“Also disappointing is that the Justice Department is urging the court to give this discriminatory law a presumption of constitutionality.  At a minimum, laws that carve out Americans because of race, sex, religion, or sexual orientation should be presumed unconstitutional, and should get heightened scrutiny by the courts.  The Justice Department should be asking the courts to examine DOMA with skeptical eyes, not rubberstamp discrimination.”

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