Sen. Franken: Its Time to Repeal Federal Law Barring Same-Sex Marriage
Today, U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) said in a Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing that he will work to repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a law that prevents federal recognition of same-sex marriages and allows states to refuse to acknowledge a same-sex marriage from another state. Sen. Franken is an original cosponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act, a bill that would repeal DOMA and allow the federal government to give same-sex married couples the same benefits that other married couples receive.
"DOMA is an injustice," said Sen. Franken in his opening statement. "It is an immoral and discriminatory law. Our nation was founded on the premise that all people are created equal, and that all persons should receive equal treatment under the law. .... And that's why I think the day we repeal DOMA will be a great day for this nation."
Sen. Franken's opening statement can be read here.
Sen. Franken has been a longtime advocate for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community. He is the sponsor of the Student Non-Discrimination Act, a bill that would help protect LGBT students from bullying in schools. He was a cosponsor of the legislation that repealed the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy that prevented LGBT men and women from serving openly in the military and is an original cosponsor of the Respect of Marriage Act, a bill that would repeal DOMA and extend federal benefits to same-sex married couples. Sen. Franken has also twice taped videos for the "It Gets Better" project, an Internet campaign to reach out to LGBT youth to let them know that there are people who are fighting for them and that life gets better after high school. You can watch the video Sen. Franken filmed with 12 of his Senate colleagues here and one he filmed solo here.