One week before our National DOMA protest, the waves of change are already starting to form! Bob Barr, the infamous author of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), wrote an op-ed in the LA Times stating that DOMA should be repealed! This is something worth celebrating, and something we should take to the next level.
Ever since we announced January 10th’s National DOMA Protest, we learned that many members of the LGBTQ community do not even know what DOMA is. DOMA, put simply, is one current reason LGBTQ rights are so hard to come by. When you drill down to the heart of DOMA, it was launched as an effort to keep same-sex couples from gaining the same rights as heterosexual married couples… in other words, it was born out of a need to restrict the rights of the LGBTQ community. DOMA has been used time and time again to continually restrict the rights of the LGBTQ community in employment, spousal benefits, property ownership, insurance, etc. Many view it as discrimination written into the constitution (I am one of those many).
On January 10th, we are protesting to repeal DOMA and to gain 1 Million Signatures on our Open Letter to Barack Obama. This letter is meant to serve as a reminder to Obama of the promises that he made to our community, which he wrote in an Open Letter to the LGBTQ Community in early 2008. In that letter, he promised to repeal DOMA. We drafted a letter that uses his exact words in an effort to remind him just how accountable we expect him to be for his promises. Many requests have been made to broaden this letter and add a request for full gay marriage, or other initiatives to the list. We do not want to deter from the point of the letter though: Repeal DOMA. Hold True to Your Promises. Your Words DO Have Meaning.
On September 21st, 1996, the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was signed into federal law. DOMA, wrote discrimination into the Constitution with two strict regulations:
- No state (or other political subdivision within the United States) need treat a relationship between persons of the same sex as a marriage, even if the relationship is considered a marriage in another state.
- The Federal Government may not treat same-sex relationships as marriages for any purpose, even if concluded or recognized by one of the states.
To drive the point even further, 37 states slowly but surely adopted DOMA as a state-wide regulation further amending state Constitutions. This appalling law tells the American people that it is OK to discriminate. That it is OK to recognize the LGBTQ community as less than equal. This same law, that the California Supreme Court deemed unconstitutional set the precedence for Proposition 8. This same law has nullified many rights that come with Domestic Partnerships. This law does not just affect members of the LGBTQ community – it also repeals rights from heterosexual non-married couples. This law has nullified the heterosexual rights that come with Common Law Marriage. This law blurred the lines of separation of church and state even further. And this law, is one of many that President Elect Barack Obama has PROMISED to repeal in his “Open Letter to the LGBTQ Community.
DOMA is not a speed bump on the road to full equality. It is not even a road block. DOMA is a gigantic brick wall that is crumbling! On January 10th, we encourage you to find a protest in or near your city. Join in this important national moment, where we will work together to shed light on the negative effects of DOMA. Help us get signatures between now and Jan 10th on the Open Letter to Barack Obama. Bob Barr, who created the beast, is now in our corner to help us defeat it! He started the wall crumbling, now it’s time we come together this Saturday with our own “demo team” to help tear it down!