Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Supreme Court Decision To Consider Challenge To The Defense Of Marriage Act

[The Supreme Court announced Friday it will review two court cases on same-sex marriage this year, including one, Windsor v. United States, challenging the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).  Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is a leading cosponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal DOMA, and he chaired the first-ever congressional hearing examining the effects of DOMA on American families.  As Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he led the panel’s consideration of the legislation.  The Committee approved the bill in November 2011.]

“I welcome the Supreme Court’s decision to take up a case challenging the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, which has served to create a tier of second-class marriages in this Nation and in the state of Vermont.  I am hopeful that the Supreme Court will recognize the discriminatory and damaging impact that DOMA has had on thousands of individuals and families across the country.  All couples who are lawfully married under state law, including in Vermont, should be entitled to the same Federal protections afforded to all other married couples.  The Court has an opportunity to uphold the values upon which America was founded by finding that DOMA is inconsistent with this Nation’s march toward equality.  I hope this Court will do so.”

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