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LGBT military organization stands against the Defense of Marriage Act

LGBT military organization stands against the Defense of Marriage Act

Although gay troops can now serve openly in the  US military, their families are still invisible.

In 1996, the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) passed the Congress and was signed into law by then President Bill Clinton. The law keeps the government from recognizing same-sex marriages, even in states where gay marriage is legal. Couples cannot file joint federal tax returns or receive survivor benefits.

The law applies to all LGBT families, even those in the armed forces. The organizations OutServe-SLDN and Freedom to Marry have jointly created an online video highlighting the legislation’s unequal effects.

The advertisement is called ‘Same Skin’ and is part of the Freedom to Serve, Freedom to Marry campaign that was launched earlier in the year.

‘With the Supreme Court likely to hear a challenge to the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and Congress considering the Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal it, decision-makers need to see up close the very real harms federal marriage discrimination inflicts on the families that our country should most closely protect.’ said Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry.

OutServe-SLDN executive director Allyson Robinson noted on this Veteran’s Day it is important to remember those who serve.

‘Today, we remember all who have served our nation so honorably; but we reserve a special remembrance for all those who have provided the same service, taken the same risks, and made the same sacrifices to keep us safe, yet are treated as second-class citizens by the country they are sworn to protect,’ Robinson said in a statement.

Federal appeals courts in New York and Boston have found DOMA unconstitutional. These rulings have been appealed to the Supreme Court by the Republican leadership of the House of Representatives. Ever since President Barack Obama instructed the Justice Department not to defend the constitutionality of DOMA, lawyers representing the House have argued for the law in courtrooms.