Target: Senate Judiciary Committee Members
Goal: Provide domestic partners with the same rights that married heterosexual couples receive.
The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) recognizes marriage as a union between one man and one woman. DOMA denies same-sex couples of over 1,100 federal benefits, rights, and responsibilities that married heterosexual couples receive. Even if a same-sex couple is legally married in their state of residence, they are still denied countless privileges that are afforded to heterosexual couples across the United States.
DOMA creates a gap of inequality that leaves domestic partners at a severe financial and emotional disadvantage. Domestic partners are denied over 150 federal tax benefits, the right to petition for their spouses’ immigration, and the guarantee of continued insurance coverage for their spouses.
DOMA’s definition of “spouse” is so narrow that it does not recognize domestic partnerships as “families”. Though gay and lesbian citizens pay the same Social Security tax as straight individuals, they are not afforded the rights that Social Security provides to families with heterosexual partners. Same-sex couples do not have the security of knowing that their family will be taken care of if they pass away. Domestic partners are often denied hospital visitation rights, and do not receive family or medical leave to care for their sick partner or child.
The Respect for Marriage Act would repeal DOMA and recognize the validity of same-sex marriages on a federal level. By signing the petition below, you will help urge the Senate Judiciary Committee to pass the Respect for Marriage Act, providing domestic partners with the rights that all married couples should be entitled to.
Dear Senate Judiciary Committee Members,
The inequality enforced by the Defense of Marriage denies domestic partners the benefits, rights, and responsibilities that all married couples should be given.
Under DOMA, same-sex married couples are excluded from basic rights that their heterosexual counterparts are afforded. Domestic partners are denied over 1,100 benefits that range from tax rates to an individual’s ability to properly take care of a dying spouse. This lack of benefits not only affects the two individuals who have chosen to marry, but extends to their children – currently, there are over 1 million children in the United States who have same-sex parents. To deny domestic partners recognition on a federal level is to deny them a basic right – the right to have and take care of ones’ family.
I am urging you to give married gay and lesbian citizens the rights they deserve by passing the Respect for Marriage Act. Please take action to eliminate DOMA and recognize same-sex marriages on a federal level.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Gay marriage via Mysie.