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Asian American Democrats in Congress support repeal of DOMA

Progressive New York City Congressman Jerrold Nadler (NY-08) introduced the "Respect for Marriage Act," in the House today. The bill seeks to overturn the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which was signed by President Bill Clinton in 1996 and outlawed the federal government from recognizing gay marriage. According to a press release from Nadler's office:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, following the introduction of the Respect for Marriage Act by Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO), the legislation has already gained key support from important corners.  Among the bill’s backers are former President Bill Clinton, who signed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) into law in 1996, and former Congressman Bob Barr (R-GA), who first introduced DOMA.  They join the dozens of civil rights organizations and 91 original co-sponsors of the bill who are pushing for a full repeal of DOMA.

Today, President Clinton said: “I want to thank Congressman Nadler for his leadership on this issue, and Reps. Baldwin, Polis, Conyers, Lewis, Velazquez and Lee, for introducing the Respect for Marriage Act in the House of Representatives.  Throughout my life I have opposed discrimination of any kind.  When the Defense of Marriage Act was passed, gay couples could not marry anywhere in the United States or the world for that matter.  Thirteen years later, the fabric of our country has changed, and so should this policy.”

Today, Bob Barr said:  “I join with former President Bill Clinton in commending Rep. Jerry Nadler for introducing the ‘Respect for Marriage Act of 2009.’  This legislation would strengthen the principle that each state is free to set the definition of marriage the citizens of that state have adopted.  Rep. Nadler’s legislation would also repeal the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, and by so doing, remove the federal government from involving itself in matters of defining ‘marriage,’ which historically and according to principles of federalism, are properly state matters and not federal.”

Looking at the list of co-sponsors (full list below), it's great to see Asian American Democrats Mike Honda (CA-15), Mazie Hirono (HI-02), Doris Matsui (CA-05), Bobby Scott (VA-05) and David Wu (OR-01) all on this list. Noticeably absent is the newest Congressmember, Judy Chu (CA-32). She has always been great about LGBT issues. If you live in her district, please encourage her to sign on as a co-sponsor as well. If she signs on, every single Asian American Democrat will have signed as a co-sponsor of the bill. Pretty impressive.

Here is the full list of co-sponsors from the Library of Congress:

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rameyko on Thu, 09/17/2009 - 12:49

I have a feeling that the co-sponsors may have been rounded up mostly before Rep. Chu began her term.  I hope my suspicions are confirmed when she signs on.  =)

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