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Senate DOMA Hearing to Include Marriage Equality Opponents

Senate DOMA Hearing to Include Marriage Equality Opponents


Wednesday's hearings on a bill to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act will include two marriage equality opponents, according to the Senate Judiciary Committee's website.

Scheduled to testify before the full committee are Austin R. Nimocks, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, and Edward Whelan, president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

Pro-marriage equality witnesses also scheduled to testify in the second panel of the hearing are Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese and Freedom to Marry founder and president Evan Wolfson.

The first panel will include testimony from 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 loss in income.

The Wednesday hearing will be webcast, according to the committee.

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