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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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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