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Senate Dems Release Witness List for DOMA Hearing

Senate Dems Release Witness List for DOMA Hearing

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Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese and Freedom to Marry founder and president Evan Wolfson are among those scheduled to testify on the Defense of Marriage Act in a July 20 hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The senate hearing on DOMA repeal legislation, which will be webcast, includes testimony from LGBT individuals who have been adversely affected as a result of the 1996 law, now challenged in multiple federal suits and deemed unconstitutional by the Obama administration.

One of those individuals scheduled to testify is Ron Wallen, a 77-year-old veteran who in 2008 married his partner of 55 years, Tom Carrollo. Carrollo died in March, and Wallen is barred by DOMA from receiving the same social security survivor benefits afforded to married heterosexual couples. He is now faced with selling his home near Palm Springs, Calif. as a result of the income loss (see video of Wallen's story via Freedom to Marry below).

"Until DOMA's enactment, the federal government had always honored marriages celebrated in the states," Freedom to Marry national campaign director Marc Solomon said Tuesday. "It's time for Congress to end this gay exception and allow legally married same-sex couples access to the tools and security available to all other couples to build a life together and protect their families."

A judiciary committee spokeswoman said Thursday that Republican members have not yet added their own witnesses to the hearing.

Witness list information via the committee website:

Hearing before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary
On "S.598, The Respect for Marriage Act: Assessing the Impact of DOMA on American Families"

Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 226
10:00 a.m.

Panel I

Susan M. Murray
Ferrisburgh, VT

Ron Wallen
Indio, CA

Andrew Sorbo
Cheshire, CT

Panel II

Joe Solmonese
President
The Human Rights Campaign
Washington, DC

Evan Wolfson
Founder and Executive Director
Freedom to Marry
New York, NY

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