Fifty-nine percent (59%) of American registered voters oppose Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), according to a new poll commissioned by the Center for American Progress and Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD).
Section 3 of DOMA is the portion of the law which prohibits the federal government from recognizing the marriages of same-sex couples legally married in their own states. GLAD describes the real and serious harm that this causes:
With more than 1,000 federal laws and programs at issue, DOMA’s harm is vast. DOMA denies pensions to the surviving spouses of federal employees, prevents spouses from taking Family Medical Leave to care for one another during serious illness, separates binational couples, denies military spouses support and benefits, and costs thousands of dollars for families when spouses cannot file federal taxes jointly as married; and …DOMA singles out gay people and our relationships as unequal, thus inviting discrimination from others and telling our children that their families are second class.
“With each passing day, more and more Americans are learning how DOMA denies important marital protections and heaps disrespect on married same-sex couples across the country – and they’re saying, ‘Enough is enough,’” GLAD’s civil rights director Mary Bonauto told Washington Blade. “It’s not surprising that a majority of this country now believes that loving, committed couples in legal marriages should be treated fairly under federal law. It’s time for our laws to catch up with where public opinion is on abolishing DOMA.”
Section 3 of DOMA has been found unconstitutional by the last seven federal courts to hear challenges to it, including the First Circuit Court of Appeals and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments against Section 3 of DOMA in Windsor v. United States on March 27, 2013.