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Monday, July 18, 2011

Human Rights Campaingn

Dear WatercolorsAngel,
The government shouldn't be able to pick and choose which marriages they like – and which ones they don't.
Help us repeal the Defense of Marriage Act.
I want to share some exciting news: This Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold the first ever hearing on the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) since it was enacted fifteen years ago – and I'll be testifying and calling for its repeal.
More importantly, I'll be sharing the stories of the real people whose lives have been forever altered by this outdated, hateful law. We need to make sure our elected leaders remember that this isn't just about the principles of fairness and equality.
In the struggle to repeal DOMA, there's nothing less at stake than millions of Americans in committed, loving relationships, who suffer the weight of injustice each and every day – denied full access to Social Security and tax benefits other married couples take for granted.
51 percent of Americans oppose DOMA. The law denies same-sex couples more than 1,100 federal rights, benefits, and responsibilities of marriage. And with more and more states embracing marriage equality, the discrimination is no longer hypothetical. It's real, and it's heartbreaking.
That's why champions for equality in the House and Senate have introduced the Respect for Marriage Act. And it's why the most powerful argument we can make is to tell the very real stories of Americans whose lives have been affected by this codified discrimination.
Maybe you yourself have faced a tax burden other married couples haven't when putting your spouse on your health plan. Or you've been told that you can't take family medical leave to care for a sick spouse. Or you've been forced to choose between your spouse and your home country because our nation's immigration laws don't respect your marriage. Speak out now >>
Maybe this discrimination takes shape in being forced to deny that you've been legally married for years, since the federal government won't recognize your union. While other married couples get badly needed tax breaks during tough times, you spend extra time and money on preparing two different sets of returns each year.
The hearing on Wednesday gives us a chance to share stories like these and to put a human face on the discrimination that tens of thousands in the LGBT community face every day. I know you'll agree that if these things can happen to any couple, it's an injustice that demands immediate action.
A majority of Americans believe in equality. It doesn't matter if the issue is marriage or “Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” or DOMA – if we consistently tell the true, emotional stories of neighbors and family and friends who face discrimination every day, we'll win in the end. I know it.
Thanks for sharing,
Joe Solmonese
Joe Solmonese
P.S. Even if you don't have a story to share, someone you know might. Forward this email along, and ask friends to share on Facebook or Twitter

Since I do not personally have a story to tell; I am passing it along this way.