|Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY)|
From the Advocate:
“New York State allows all its citizens the freedom to marry the person they love,” he said. “Under the Tenth Amendment, the federal government has a Constitutional responsibility to respect New York’s right to set its own laws. It’s my job to see that it does.“It is right to extend equal protection under federal law to all couples who are legally married without infringing upon religious freedom and beliefs,” Hanna continued. “This legislation does not tell states who can be married or who must be treated as married, nor does it require any religious institution to violate their own convictions.“I respect the deeply held beliefs on both sides of this issue,” he said. “The simple fact remains that the federal government has a responsibility to ensure all legally married couples are treated equally under federal law – and this bill would achieve that proper standard.”His announcement continues the sea change taking place around the measure that passed both houses of Congress by large majorities 16 years ago and was signed into law by President Bill Clinton. Hanna joins Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, the first Republican lawmaker to back DOMA repeal. Fifteen months have elapsed since her trailblazing statement, but advocates hope more endorsements will come more quickly now as the GOP grapples with a rapidly changing cultural and political landscape thrown into sharp relief by the recent election.