On the heels of Barack Obama’s historic announcement in favor of same sex marriage, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is calling for the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
“New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and I are working to overturn this unjust law,” Gillibrand wrote in an e-mail to supporters. ”Not only does it deny critical federal rights and benefits to legally married couples in New York and nationwide, but it treats their sacred unions with contempt and disrespect.”
DOMA definies marriage between one man and one woman on the national level.
Since replacing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as the junior Senator for New York, Gillibrand has worked to bring equal rights to the LGBT community.
“Now is the time,” she says.
Senator Gillibrand believes Obama’s announcement puts she and other supporters in Washington closer to their goal.
“We’ve got to build on this incredible momentum by taking a strong stand against the Defense of Marriage Act right now,” she added.
Last year, the state Legislature and Senate voted to legalize gay marriage in New York. As an avid supporter who even lobbied for marriage equality, Governor Andrew Cuomo quickly signed the bill into law. Same sex marriage has been well received in New York with supporters in both parties. However, as Gillibrand mentioned, many Federal benefits are denied to gay couples as long as DOMA remains in effect.
She encourages everyone to sign her petition urging DOMA’s repeal.