Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) announced his support for marriage equality for same-sex couples and for the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The announcement followed a meeting on Sunday evening, March 22, in Manhattan, initiated by Senator Schumer, with a group of New York LGBT elected officials and leaders of the city's largest LGBT organizations, including Empire State Pride Agenda Executive Director Alan Van Capelle.
"I want to thank Sen. Schumer for his support of marriage equality and the repeal of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act," said Van Capelle. "Like a majority of New Yorkers, Sen. Schumer recognizes that only marriage equality provides same sex couples the status, protections and rights afforded to all other Americans. We look forward to working with him to win marriage equality in New York State and around the country."
Van Capelle said that during the meeting, Schumer pledged his support to repeal DOMA and, in the interim, to work to provide federal recognition and portability of benefits to legally married same-sex couples.
Sen. Schumer is vice chair of the U.S. Senate's Democratic Conference and the highest ranking member of the Senate to endorse marriage equality.
Among other topics discussed at the meeting were continued HIV and Ryan White Care Act funding, appointment of openly LGBT people to the federal bench, special issues facing LGBT youth and seniors, the U.S. Census, and passage of a Trans-inclusive Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA) and hate crimes legislation.