Serranos Applaud Obama Decision on the ‘Defense of Marriage Act’

José M. Serrano

February 24, 2011

(The Bronx, NY)- Congressman José E. Serrano and New York State Senator José M. Serrano today applauded the Obama Administration’s decision to stop defending the federal “Defense of Marriage Act,” which bars the recognition of same-sex marriage.

“President Obama and his advisors are to be commended for this brave and just decision to end their defense of the unconstitutional ‘Defense of Marriage Act’,” said Congressman Serrano. “That law, passed during the culture wars of the 1990s, does nothing to expand rights in this nation, and everything to curtail them. I firmly believe that our duty is to expand and defend the protections that the Constitution lays out and to work to end discriminatory laws and policies.

“I have watched as states across the nation as well as the District of Columbia have legalized same-sex marriage or civil unions. I believe that is progress towards a future where sexual orientation is not grounds for different treatment by the government. The Defense of Marriage Act was not right when it passed and I’m glad that the Administration will no longer be defending it in court.”

“I am extremely pleased that President Obama and the Department of Justice will no longer assert the constitutionality of the ‘Defense of Marriage Act,’” said Senator Serrano.  “This decision is a monumental step in ensuring that the laws in our country are not based on divisiveness and discrimination, but on fairness and equality.

"As a nation, we share a fundamental commitment to civil rights, and same-sex couples and their families should be afforded the same legal benefits granted to other married couples. I am proud that our government will no longer be defending a law that infringes upon the basic civil rights of many Americans.”