The Don't-Miss Moments From the DOMA Hearing
BY Advocate.com Editors
July 21 2011 1:50 PM ET
Fifteen years after Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act, the U.S. Senate finally has an official record of why the legislation was indeed a mistake — even if some witnesses asserted in Wednesday’s hearing (with questionable supporting evidence) that the federal government has a vested interest in discriminating against married same-sex couples.
Here’s a sampling of the powerful testimony in support of DOMA repeal submitted for the hearing — as well as the flimsy opposition. —Andrew Harmon
Evan Wolfson, cofounder and president, Freedom to Marry:
"Why is the repeal of DOMA so important for same-sex couples and their families? Because marriage matters. Gay and lesbian couples want the freedom to marry for the same mix of reasons as other couples — reasons that are emotional as well as economic, practical as well as personal, social as well as spiritual, and reasons that resonate in law as they do in love. Like nongay people, gay people want to be able to protect themselves and their families, and marriage provides literally thousands of protections and supports at the federal and state level.
"Most profoundly, gay people seek to make a lifetime commitment to the person they love and to protect their families. They share similar values to those that other couples hold — like the importance of family and helping out their neighbors; they share similar worries — like making ends meet or the possibility of losing a job; and they share similar hopes and dreams — like finding that special someone to grow old with, and standing in front of friends and family to make a lifetime commitment. "