Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is no
longer the only Congressional Republican supporting repeal of the
Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the 1996 law which forbids federal
agencies from recognizing the marriages of gay and lesbian couples.
New York Rep. Richard Hanna on Friday
announced his support for the measure.
In a statement released to gay glossy
Advocate, Hanna announced his co-sponsorship of the Respect
for Marriage Act.
“New York State allows all its
citizens the freedom to marry the person they love,” Hanna said.
“Under the Tenth Amendment, the federal government has a
Constitutional responsibility to respect New York's right to set its
own laws. It's my job to see that it does.
“It is right to extend equal
protection under federal law to all couples who are legally married
without infringing upon religious freedom and beliefs. This
legislation does not tell states who can be married or who must be
treated as married, nor does it require any religious institution to
violate their own convictions.
“I respect the deeply held beliefs on
both sides of this issue. The simple fact remains that the federal
government has a responsibility to ensure all legally married couples
are treated equally under federal law – and this bill would achieve
that proper standard,” he added.
Freedom to Marry, the nation's largest
group working on the issue of marriage equality, applauded Hanna's
“We urge other Congressional
Republicans to stand on the right side of history and join
Congressman Hanna in supporting the Respect for Marriage Act,” Jo
Deutsch, federal director of Freedom to Marry, said in a statement.
The Supreme Court will hear later in
this term an appeal in a case in which DOMA has been declared
unconstitutional by a federal appeals court.
Court to hear gay marriage-related Prop 8, DOMA cases.)