by Mike Andrew -
SGN Staff Writer
Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA), a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and 38 other senators sent a letter to President Obama asking him to act 'swiftly and comprehensively' to implement the Supreme Court decision striking down DOMA.
Washington's Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell were among those who signed the letter, released on July 11.
'We understand that your Administration is evaluating the vast number of statutes and regulations impacted, and that many laws provide Federal agencies with great discretion to provide relief to legally-married, same-sex couples,' the senators wrote.
'We urge you to ensure that legally-married, same-sex couples are treated equally under Federal law regardless of where they live, to the greatest extent possible. Only by doing this can we truly provide equal protection to the married couples that have long borne the brunt of DOMA's unconstitutional discrimination.'
The senators also stressed the need to pass the Respect for Marriage Act, to abolish the sections of DOMA not covered by the Supreme Court decision.
'Some statutes, including the Social Security Act and Veterans Code, may limit the degree to which equal treatment under the law can be fully realized,' the letter continued.
'Passing this legislation will fix that, by making sure that couples that have entered into the lifelong commitment of lawful marriage are treated equally under Federal law regardless of where they live. We also believe that DOMA should be stricken from the books - period. It should not be subject to a potentially shifting Supreme Court majority. Nor should a couple's legally recognized marriage be vulnerable to changing Administrations.'
Besides Feinstein, Murray, and Cantwell, the letter was signed by Judiciary Committee Chair Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Michael F. Bennet (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), Thomas R. Carper (D-DE), Robert P. Casey, Jr.(D-PA), Christopher Coons (D-DE), Richard J. Durbin (D-IL), Al Franken (D-MN), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Angus S. King, Jr.(I-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Carl Levin (D-MI), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD), Christopher S. Murphy (D-CT), Jack Reed (D-RI), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Mark Udall (D-CO), Tom Udall (D-NM), Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).
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