Defense of Marriage Act

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What It Does: Defines “marriage” as a relationship between one man and one woman, and a “spouse” as a husband or wife of the opposite sex. Allows states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed in another state, seen by some as a preemptive strike against the expected legalization of gay marriage in Hawaii.

Pro and Con: Proponents of DOMA argue that most Americans do not support same-sex marriages, which threaten traditional values and the already crumbling family structure. Opponents counter that marriage is a civil right–with numerous accompanying legal rights–that should be available to both gays and straights.

Status: On July 12, 1996, the House passed the Defense of Marriage Act (H.R. 3396) with a 342 to 67 vote. The Senate will consider the bill (S. 1740) on September 5, 1996. President Clinton has promised to sign it.

What You Can Do: Let Clinton know whether you think he should veto or sign the bill. E-mail him yourself or use our handy form:


Your e-mail address:

Your name:

Your mailing address:
[The White House discards e-mail messages with no street address]

 

President Bill Clinton
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC

 

[“Veto DOMA” or “Support DOMA”]
Re:

 Dear Mr. President: 

Enter your message to Clinton:

 

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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