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Congresswoman Clarke’s Statement on the Respect for Marriage Act

Brooklyn, N.Y. – Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke released the following statement on the Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and guarantee the rights of same-sex married couples to equal protection of the law. Currently, some same-sex married couples are unable to access federal programs, such as Social Security and veterans benefits, because their states of residence have not yet allowed marriage equality.

“Today, the American people celebrate marriage equality in thirty-seven states, a number that continues to increase and will, within the next few years, include our entire nation. Congress has a responsibility to listen to voices of the people we were elected to represent by enacting the Respect for Marriage Act, which will guarantee that lawfully married couples will be recognized under federal law regardless of their state of residence. The gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals who have contributed to Social Security as workers and served in our armed forces are entitled to equality under the law, and therefore the full benefits allowed under these programs.”

U.S. Representative Yvette D. Clarke is a member of the House Committee on Small Business, Ethics, and Homeland Security, where she is the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies. She represents many neighborhoods in central and southern Brooklyn, NY which include Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Gerritsen Beach, Madison, Midwood, parts of Park Slope and Flatlands, Prospect Heights, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Sheepshead Bay, and Windsor Terrace.