Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen on Friday became the first Republican to sign onto 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.

“I voted against the constitutional amendment defining marriage, so I'm pleased to co-sponsor the repeal of DOMA and work with my colleagues on marriage equality,” said Ros-Lehtinen in a statement.

The Respect for Marriage Act was first introduced during last year's legislative session by New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler.

“It is with great joy that I welcome my friend and colleague, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, as the 125th cosponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act,” said Nadler.

Nadler added that Ros-Lehtinen has been “a tremendous ally in the world's struggles for freedom and against oppression and discrimination.”

“Representative Ilena Ros-Lehtinen's support for this important bill confirms that equal respect for all marriage is a bipartisan, mainstream value,” said Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry. “Working with Representatives Ros-Lehtinen and Nadler, and the Respect for Marriage Act's 124 co-sponsors, Freedom to Marry will continue to make the case to Republican and Democratic members of Congress that it's time to return the federal government to its proper role of honoring all marriage legal in the states – without a gay exception.”