February 23, 2011

Media Contacts

Adam Sarvana (202) 225-2435 (Grijalva)

Tim Schumann (202) 225-4755 (Ellison)

Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva and Keith Ellison, co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), released the following statement today after the Department of Justice declared the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional:

We applaud President Obama’s decision today to no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act, which denies marriage rights and recognition to same-sex couples. This decision is a victory not only for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community, but for every American. As with the repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, this decision proves that when progressives organize and speak with a unified voice, we make America better and stronger.

Like President Obama, we have consistently opposed the Defense of Marriage Act as a violation of basic civil rights. This past Congress, we co-sponsored The Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act to grant same-sex domestic partners of federal workers the same benefits as federal workers’ different-sex spouses.

Today’s decision is not the end of our country’s quest for full equality, and we are sure to suffer setbacks along the way. But moments like this give us hope that one day, our government will fulfill America’s great promise of equality and stop discrimination against our citizens based on sexual orientation.

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