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Kirsten Gillibrand Hub



04/19/2007


Watch: House, Senate Dems Introduce Legislation to Repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)

Doma1

This morning in the House, and this afternoon in the Senate, legislation was introduced that would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

Watch both press conferences, AFTER THE JUMP...

The WSJ:

On the House side, Reps. Jerry Nadler (D., N.Y.) (at podium, below) and John Conyers (D., Mich.) teamed up with the four openly gay members of Congress, Reps. Tammy Baldwin (D., Wis.), David Cicilline (D., R.I.), Barney Frank (D., Mass.) and Jared Polis (D., Colo.), plus more than 100 cosponsors on the legislation, which is slated for formal introduction Wednesday afternoon.

In the Senate, the DOMA repeal effort will be led by Sens. Patrick Leahy (D., Vt.), Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) (above) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.). Some 20 other co-signers have signaled their support.

Recently President Obama concluded, upon consultation with Attorney General Eric Holder, that classifications based on sexual orientation should be subject to heightened legal scrutiny and that Section 3 of DOMA, as applied to legally married same-sex couples, is unconstitutional.  The Administration said that it would continue to enforce DOMA until it was repealed or overturned by the courts, but it would curtail defense of Section 3 of DOMA in legal challenges.

White House spokesman Shin Inouye released the following statement to Towleroad: “The President has long said that DOMA is discriminatory and should be repealed by Congress.  We welcome the introduction of bills that would legislatively repeal DOMA, and look forward to working with lawmakers to achieve that goal.”

Watch both press conferences, AFTER THE JUMP...

Meanwhile, a House resolution with 81 Republican sponsors condemns Obama for his decision to stop defending DOMA in court.

Recent DOMA developments...
Poll Shows Americans Oppose DOMA, Government Defense of It [tr]
Boehner Announces House Will Defend DOMA in Court [tr]
DOMA: Defending the Indefensible [tr]
Immigration Equality Prepping Binational DOMA Case [tr]
DOMA: The Ripple Effects of Heightened Scrutiny [tr]

Doma2

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Senator Kirsten Gillibrand Launches 'Repeal DOMA' Website

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) today launched RepealDOMA.com, a website dedicated to the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act.

Wrote Gillibrand at the HuffPo:

Gillibrand

We must repeal this discriminatory law. There is no reason same-sex couples should be denied the same rights that my husband and I and so many other straight Americans enjoy. For me it comes down to the very simple principles that every American should be able to marry the person they love, and that discrimination against LGBT Americans is unconstitutional and wrong.

The law as it currently stands denies federal benefits to thousands of legally married couples -- more than 1,100 federal rights and privileges enjoyed by straight couples, including hospital visitation, inheritance and some health care benefits. It discourages states from recognizing these legal marriages and it denies millions more Americans the right to marry the person they love.

This is wrong.

Repeal DOMA [website] (via equality matters)


Watch: Senator Kirsten Gillibrand Commits Herself to Nationwide Marriage Equality on 'The View'

Gillibrand

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) appeared on The View today and reiterated her commitment to passing marriage equality in New York and across the country.

Said Gillibrand: "I also want to work on marriage equality. I want to make sure that everyone in this country can be married to the people they love."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

(via good as you)

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Watch: Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Rep. Jared Polis Talk 'DADT' Repeal on 'Hardball'

Matthews

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) joined Chris Matthews on Hardball to discuss this weekend's vote in the Senate to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Lieberman, Udall, Gillibrand Urge Senate Repeal of DADT

Senators Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Mark Udall (D-CO), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) issued a joint statement today urging the Senate to pass the defense bill along with the amendment repealing DADT in the upcoming  lame duck Senate session.

Gillibrand “The Senate should act immediately to debate and pass a defense authorization bill and repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ during the lame duck session.  The Senate has passed a defense bill for forty-eight consecutive years.  We should not fail to meet that responsibility now, especially while our nation is at war.  We must also act to put an end to the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy that not only discriminates against but also dishonors the service of gay and lesbian service members.

“The National Defense Authorization Act is essential to the safety and well-being of our service members and their families, as well as for the success of military operations around the world.  The bill will increase the pay of all service members, authorize needed benefits for our veterans and wounded warriors, and launch military construction projects at bases throughout the country.

“The process established by the defense bill would also allow ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ to be repealed in an orderly manner, and only after the President, Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have certified to Congress that repeal is ‘consistent with the standards of military readiness, military effectiveness, unit cohesion, and recruiting and retention of the Armed Forces.’  If Congress does not act to repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ in an orderly manner that leaves control with our nation’s military leaders, a federal judge may do so unilaterally in a way that is disruptive to our troops and ongoing military efforts.  It is important that ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ be dealt with this year, and it appears that the only way that can happen is if it is on the defense bill.    

“We are pleased that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has also called on Congress to repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ We must act upon our responsibility to our troops and their family members and to the thousands of gay and lesbian service members who serve their nation bravely and honorably by passing the National Defense Authorization Act before the end of the year.”

As I mentioned earlier, there's very little time, and there's the issue of John McCain.


Watch: Activist Adds Hunger Strike to Campaign Demanding Gillibrand File Bill to Add Gays to Civil Rights Act

Bounville

NYC gay activist Alan Bounville has stepped up a campaign to persuade Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a staunch supporter of marriage equality and a proactive advocate of DADT repeal, to file a bill adding gays and lesbians to the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Bounville is so determined that he has been holding daily vigils in front of her campaign office for weeks, and on the day of the election began a hunger strike.

DNA Info reports:

On Oct. 11, the vigil was expanded to a 24-hour protest and ended early Tuesday morning when Bounville started his hunger strike at an undisclosed location.

On Tuesday night, 18 hours into the fast, Bounville spoke to DNAinfo over the phone.

"I have a bit of a headache," he said. "What's keeping me going is these visualizations of Tyler Clementi jumping off that bridge. I keep replaying that in my mind." 

"The issue is full civil rights right now," he explained, in contrast to the more narrow, targeted battles favored by many mainstream LGBT advocacy groups such as marriage equality, the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and anti-bullying bills.

"None of this piecemeal, convoluted stuff," he said.

But even within the LGBT community, many believe that a campaign like Bounville's should wait for a time when there is broader congressional support.

"You can count on one hand the number of members of the Senate that supports this idea," Richard Socarides, a Chelsea-based gay and lesbian civil rights attorney and former White House advisor to President Clinton, said at the start of the vigil.

"Senator Gillibrand has been probably our strongest advocate for gay and lesbian civil rights in the entire federal government," he added.

Bounville was arrested in May with five other activists after chaining himself to the White House fence in a DADT protest. He was also arrested at a protest in February outside the NYC marriage bureau, demanding licenses be issued to same-sex couples.

In a video recorded at the beginning of his 'Civil Rights fast' on Tuesday, Bounville claims that Gillibrand is not a "friend" of the LGBT community — because no politicians are:

"Many people will say that Kirsten Gillibrand is our friend and that couldn't be further from the truth. Our United States Senators, our President, anybody, our House members, local politicians — none of them are our friends. They are, at best, our employees. Now if someone were to say, 'I think Kirsten Gillibrand is my friend,' my response to them would be 'well then you want her to be your friend.' I don't want my senators to be my friends. I want them to do the work that they are put into office to do."

Watch Bounville's video, AFTER THE JUMP...

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