Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed the Respect for Marriage Act, on a party line vote of 10 to 8. The bil, if passed, would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and make same-sex marriages legal through out the United States. (The bill will never pass, however, for it would be dead on arrival in the House of Representatives, if it magically had 60 votes to overcome a Senate filibuster, if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid would even allow it to come up for a vote in an election year.)
All the same, Capital Tonight reports, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and 13 other mayors and governors sent a letter to the Judiciary Committee endorsing the bill.
Fresh off their success in New York State, Cuomo and Bloomberg are helping take the fight national. Joined by the mayors of San Francisco and Los Angeles, they encourage the nation to equalize marriage laws as New York has, writing:
DOMA prevents any of the over 1,100 federal rights, benefits and responsibilities of marriage from beingafforded to same-sex couples or their families. These include Social Security survivor benefits, federalemployee health benefits for spouses, protections against spouses losing their homes in cases of severemedical emergencies, the right to sponsor a foreign born partner for immigration, the guarantee of family and medical leave and the ability to file joint tax returns, among many others. While we are proud that our states have eased the burdens on families, these provisions of federal law are beyondour purview and Congressional action is required.
Here’s the full letter.