Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski on
Thursday announced she will co-sponsor a bill that would repeal the
Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which forbids federal agencies from
recognizing the legal marriages of gay and lesbian couples.
Last month, Freedom to Marry presented
Mikulski with a
petition signed by more than 3,000 people urging the senator to
back the bill.
Mikulski announced her decision on
Facebook and Twitter.
“I am proud to co-sponsor legislation
to repeal key provisions of the Defense of Marriage Act,” Mikulski
told gay weekly the Washington
Blade. “I believe all Americans are entitled to equal
protection under the law and all of our citizens deserve to be
treated with dignity and respect.”
Gay marriage supporters believe a
Maryland delegation united in favor of DOMA repeal would assist in
passage of a state marriage equality bill to be introduced by
Governor Martin O'Malley during next year's legislative session,
which begins in January. Senator Benjamin Cardin, Maryland's junior
senator, co-sponsored the legislation in May.
O'Malley on gay marriage bill: I think it should pass.)