My Story

Growing up in conservative West Michigan, I watched lesbian and gay friends and family members struggle to be accepted and be treated equally. There are gains and losses in this fight every day, and it is vital for LGBT individuals and their straight allies to stand up and to pay attention.

17 March 2011

DOMA To Be Repealed? What Does It All Mean?

For those who don't know much about DOMA, it's the Defense Of Marriage Act signed by President Bill Clinton in 1996. In the law, the federal government defines marriage as between a man and a woman. What this means, essentially, is that no state can be required to recognize a same-sex marriage from another state.  Someone married in California (before Proposition 8) does not have to be recognized by Michigan, which has a law restricting lesbians and gays from marrying.

"DOMA, the law declared unconstitutional by both President Obama and Attorney General Holder, as well as two federal court judges in several different cases, bans the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages, and allows states to not allow these marriages either."

A few weeks ago, the Obama Administration announced that DOMA would no longer be defended in the courts by the Justice Department (been there, discussed that). Obama was essentially saying that DOMA was viewed as unconstitutional in his administration's eyes. This was a big leap forward for gay rights in this country, because it meant there was finally a supportive president in the White House. Many people had found Obama to be MIA on this issue, and this was proof otherwise.

But more recently, House Speaker John Boehner and the Republicans have taken actions for the legal defense of DOMA (also been there, also discussed that). They basically overturned what Obama decided.

Well, now Democrats are fighting back again.

Last Wednesday, the March 16, Sen. Diane Feinstein has introduced a bill that would repeal DOMA, called the "Respect for Marriage Act." It has 17 cosponsors.

On the same day, Rep. Jerrold Nadler introduced an equivalent bill in the the House. It has 102 cosponsors. This is not Nadler's first attempt, but he hopes this time it will be a successful one.

What's next? Well, two things. One, we have to wait. Two, everyone should be calling their representatives and senators and telling them to vote for the Respect for Marriage Act.

Here's where to find your representative's number. 

Here's where to find your senators' number.

For marriage equality! Let's do this together!


  1. Thanks Jaime Jo! You've inspired me. I AM going to call my representative and my senator. I may be an anarchist but I am going to participate in this funny thing you call democrazy! LOL I didn't mean to write "democrazy" but I am not going to fix it.


  3. Thanks for the petition, Coco! I love And it definitely feels like democrazy lately... :)

  4. Bravo, Jaime. Here is what I posted on Facebook a week or so ago:
    So, let me get this straight...Charlie Sheen can make a "porn family", Kelsey Grammer can end a 15 year marriage over the phone, Larry King can be on divorce #9, Britney Spears had a 55 hour marriage, Jesse James and Tiger Woods, while married, were having sex with EVERYONE. Yet, the idea of same-sex marriage is going to destroy the institution of marriage? Really? Re-post if you are proud to support equal rights...

  5. I saw that going around Facebook! It's so true.