After the Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act on Wednesday morning, Senator Al Franken (D-MN), a long-time supporter of marriage equality, said we are closer toward ensuring marriage equality for every American, but the fight is far from over.
Senator Franken supports every loving couple being seen as equal under the eyes of the law, “Being married to Franni for 37 years is the best thing that ever happened to me, and I believe that every loving couple should be seen as equal under the eyes of the law. As a long-time supporter of marriage equality, I’ve been fighting for years to stop discrimination against same-sex couples and their children by pressing to end the Defense of Marriage Act, which unjustly denied important protections to couples in Minnesota because of whom they love.”
The Senator pointed out that we are not all of the way there yet, “I’m very happy that the U.S. Supreme Court found DOMA unconstitutional, and that we’re now closer toward ensuring marriage equality for every American. Our country is starting to understand that it’s not about what a family looks like: it’s about their love and commitment to one another.”
Sen. Franken is also a supporter of the Respect for Marriage Act (RFMA, H.R. 1116,S. 598), which would repeal DOMA and require the U.S. federal government to recognize the validity of same-sex marriages. President Obama announced his support for the Respect for Marriage Act on July 19, 2011. Franken’s office pointed out that the Respect for Marriage Act “would repeal DOMA and restore the federal benefits of marriage to all lawfully married couples—including tens of thousands of same-sex couples.”
DOMA, a 1996 law, denies legally married same-sex couples over 1,100 protections and responsibilities of marriage triggered at the federal level. Freedom to Marry explained that there are “over 1,100 protections and responsibilities conferred on married couples by the federal government including access to health care, parenting and immigration rights, social security, veterans and survivor benefits, and transfer of property—and that doesn’t include several hundred state and local laws, protections conferred by employers, or the intangible security, dignity, respect, and meaning that comes with marriage.”
The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn section 3 of DOMA is the first step in overturning the discrimination inherent in DOMA.