Both the National Education Association
(NEA) and the American Bar Association (ABA) have adopted resolutions
backing GLBT rights, including the right of gay and lesbian couples
At its annual meeting in Chicago last
week, the ABA policy-making House of Delegates passed a resolution
that calls on lawmakers to repeal Section 3 of the Defense of
Marriage Act (DOMA). Delegates approved the measured without debate
with an overwhelming voice vote.
Section 3 of DOMA bars federal agencies
from recognizing legal gay marriages.
“This is a very modest
recommendation, some would even say a conservative recommendation,”
Estelle Rogers, a lawyer who is a consultant on civil rights, told
While the resolution's summary says the
recommendation is neutral on the subject of granting gays the right
to marry, it does go on to call DOMA “unfair.”
“The enactment of DOMA Section 3 has
deprived thousands of lawfully married same-sex spouses of the range
of federal protections they would otherwise receive, making it
difficult for them to provide for one another and subjecting them to
financial hardship and uncertainty,” the resolution says.
Last month, in San Diego, the NEA's
governing body also approved a raft of pro-gay resolutions.
Without naming the legislation, the NEA
voiced its support for repeal of DOMA, passage of the Employment
Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), a bill currently before Congress that
would ban employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or
gender identity, the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations
Act, a bill that would extend health-care and retirement benefits to
the gay and lesbian spouses of federal employees, and the Uniting
American Families Act (UAFA), a bill that would allow gay and lesbian
Americans to sponsor an immigrant partner for citizenship.
The NEA also said it would “support
its affiliates seeking to enact state legislation that guarantees to
same-sex couples the right to enter into a legally recognized
relationship,” then added that “each state decide for itself
whether 'marriage,' 'civil union,' 'domestic partnership,' or some
other term is most appropriate.”
Another item said the association
opposes gay marriage bans.
And finally, the NEA said it supports
the right of religious institutions to refuse to “perform or
recognize same-sex marriages.”