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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

People for the American Way Condemns Obama's DOMA Brief

Dear Eva,

Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont now allow same-sex couples to marry and to enjoy the rights and responsibilities of civil marriage in those states. And thousands of same-sex marriages performed in California before the passage of Prop 8 ended equal marriage there are still valid according to a recent court ruling.

But in none of these places can someone in a same-sex marriage who has paid into the social security program collect survivors' benefits if his or her spouse were to pass away, nor receive the hundreds of other important federal benefits that heterosexual married couples are entitled to receive. This is because of the prohibitions contained in the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

DOMA is a looming roadblock to full legal equality for same-sex couples ... a roadblock that candidate AND President-elect Barack Obama pledged to remove.

People For the American Way is collecting the names of Americans willing speak out and tell both the president and congressional leaders that the time has come to DUMP DOMA, and that they should act to do so now.

Please add your name to the petition and to this historic movement now.

Tonight, President Obama announced that he is moving administratively to provide some benefits to the same-sex partners of federal employees. This is a very small step in the right direction, but it's really just a token, and tokens are no longer enough. What stands in the way of real progress for all same-sex couples is DOMA, which denies the most important benefits -- healthcare, retirement, health insurance and more -- to anyone but "spouses" under DOMA's definition of marriage (ie. married heterosexual couples).

And sadly, the administration has not lived up to the president's earlier calls to repeal DOMA.

On Friday, the Justice Department filed a legal brief in which it went far above and beyond simply defending DOMA as a federal policy against a court challenge. The brief cited laws regarding incest ... it called DOMA a policy of government "neutrality" (which it is clearly anything but) ... and it justified the government's continued discrimination on the basis that it's cheaper than expanding fundamental rights and protections.

There is no defense for the Defense of Marriage Act. Tell the president and Congress it's time for DOMA to go. Tell them to DUMP DOMA now.

Please speak up and remind our leaders now that less unequal is still unequal -- tell them to DUMP DOMA.

-- Your Allies at People For the American Way