Senator John F. Kerry gave his blessing today to lawsuit filed to overturn the federal law that defines marriage as only between a man and a woman.
Fifteen gay and lesbian couples who wed under Massachusetts law are suing in US District Court in Boston, saying that the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act is discriminatory and unconstitutional.
"The courts have always been the last resort for those seeking justice under the law, and I’m proud that GLAD has taken action to right a wrong that passed the Senate over the objections of both of Massachusetts’ Senators,” Kerry said in a statement.
His office said that in 1996, Kerry was the only senator running for reelection who voted against the act and he has continued to speak out against DOMA and its harmful effects ever since.
“In 1996, I voted against the so-called Defense of Marriage Act not just because I believed it was nothing more than a fundamentally political ploy to divide Americans, but because it is unconstitutional. Thirteen years later, I still defy you to find a single Senator who can credibly argue that it is within the Senate's power to strip away the word or spirit of a constitutional clause by simple statute. DOMA should never have passed and should never have become the law of the land. Unconstitutional and fundamentally unfair, today the human cost is especially clear and compelling. Denying same sex couples the same rights and protections under the law as enjoyed by opposite sex couples has absolutely nothing to do with defending marriage. This lawsuit is a necessary step in ensuring everyone in Massachusetts can live their lives and raise their families secure in the knowledge that their commitment to each other doesn't make them any less an American than their heterosexual families, friends and neighbors," Kerry added in his statement.
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Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.