This year, we have seen historic progress for LGBT rights, in particular on marriage equality, at both the state and federal levels.
Most recently, of course, I was thrilled when my home state of New York passed marriage equality. The law goes into effect on Sunday and I can't wait to see the images of so many loving couples lining up for marriage licenses. I also look forward to attending some of my good friends' weddings this year!
In addition to New York's historic victory, we're making significant progress at the federal level as well. Back in March, you'll recall the Obama Administration took the unprecedented step of announcing it would cease to defend the constitutionality of The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA.) This discriminatory law prohibits the federal recognition of legal same-sex marriages all over the country and prevents loving same-sex couples from enjoying over 1,100 rights and privileges afforded to married straight couples by the federal government.
Then, this past April, I was proud to join Senator Feinstein, Senator Leahy and several other of my colleagues in introducing the Respect For Marriage Act. This bill will repeal DOMA and require the US government to treat all legally married couples equally under the law.