Mark Drobnick
Mark Drobnick

"'Marriage' viewpoint from U.S. Senate - Honorable Richard J. Durbin replies"

Senator Durbin replies to my "Marriage" perspective - (original)
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C O P Y To: Mark Drobnick From: U.S. Senator Richard J. Durbin Dated: 20 June 2013 Thank you for your message about the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and same-sex marriage. I appreciate hearing from you. The Defense of Marriage Act was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Clinton in September 1996. This bill contains two major provisions. First, the Act asserts that no state is compelled to recognize a same-sex marriage granted in another state. Second, the federal government defines marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman. Decisions about the legal status of marriage historically rest with state and local authorities, and the laws of the states regarding marriage, divorce, adoption, and other family matters vary widely. I do not support a Constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriages. I oppose discrimination based on a person's sexual orientation, race, religion, age, gender, disability, color, or national origin. Because I believe a person's sexual orientation should not determine whether that person's partner should be eligible for health and other employment-based benefits, I have supported measures that would provide the same health, disability, and retirement benefits to the domestic partner of a federal employee as are provided to the spouse of a married employee. I appreciate knowing your thoughts about this matter and will keep your concerns in mind as the Senate considers this issue further. Thank you again for contacting me. Please feel free to keep in touch. Sincerely, Richard J. Durbin United States Senator RJD/jv

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