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A new effort from New Mexico advocates and the Courage Campaign urges U.S. senators Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall to support legislation that would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act.
Marriage equality advocates, joined by gay activist Cleve Jones (pictured), hand-delivered more than 1,000 messages to the senators' offices in Albuquerque Monday. The messages, which ask the senators to support the DOMA repeal legislation sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, were gathered by the Courage Campaign, partner organization Progress New Mexico, and Democracy for New Mexico, a political blog.
According to a news release, "On April 27, Mary Ellen Broderick and Barb Wold, a lesbian couple living in Albuquerque for the past 18 years and publishers of the Democracy for New Mexico blog, wrote to the three organizations' members and readers in the state, alerting them that Sens. Bingaman and Udall are not co-sponsors of Sen. Feinstein's legislation. The legislation, titled the 'Respect for Marriage Act,' would repeal DOMA and allow legally married same-sex couples, no matter where they reside, to have access to the over 1,000 federal benefits currently denied to committed same-sex couples. Members and readers were also asked to leave personal messages for the two Senators if they voted, volunteered for, or contributed to their election in the past."
View the messages here.
Since March, the Courage Campaign reports that more than 53,000 individuals have signed up for the long-term campaign to repeal DOMA through legislation sponsored by Sen. Feinstein and Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York. The campaign has successfully won the votes of senators Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Herb Kohl of Wisconsin, giving the bill the 22 cosponsors and the 10 votes it needs to pass the Senate Judiciary Committee.