In September 2009, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), together with Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO), along with Congressman John Conyers (D-MI), Congressman John Lewis (D-GA), Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) and Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA), introduced the Respect for Marriage Act in the House of Representatives. This legislation would have repealed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the 1996 law which discriminates against lawfully married same-sex couples.
Back in 2009, the Congressman noted that the 13-year-old DOMA “singles out legally married same-sex couples for discriminatory treatment under federal law, selectively denying them critical federal responsibilities and rights, including programs like social security that are intended to ensure the stability and security of American families.”
At the time many activists were angered by the fact that some key democratic members of the House, sych as Rep. BarenyFrank, had refused to sign on as a co-sponsor to the repeal legislation. At the time I was informed by a Rep. Frank senior staffer, that the Congressman would not sign as he believed DADT and ENDA should be the focus and pass first, before DOMA’s repeal would be viable.
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