Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Senate DOMA Hearing

The first ever congressional hearing on the Respect for Marriage Act has ended. Among the witnesses were Freedom to Marry's Founder and President Evan Wolfson

Ron Wallen, a California man who may lose his home because DOMA prohibits him from receiving Social Security survivor benefits from his recently deceased husband Tom.

Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) questions Focus on the Family's Tom Minnery about his misrepresentation of a HHS study while claiming that children are better off being raised in homes with opposite-sex couples. The study found that children fair best when raised in homes with two parents regardless of gender.

Under questioning from Sen. Patrick Leahy, Focus on the Family's Tom Minnery admits that children are disadvantaged by lack of protections for same-sex couples.

From The Atlantic

Back in 1996, no senator was calling the antigay forces on their lies, damn lies, and statistics. No senator approvingly quoted his state's married same-sex couples or invited white-bread suburban lawnmowing gay men and lesbians to tell the heartbreaking disaster stories about being excluded from full marriage recognition. This time, perhaps no Republican senator was yet willing to urge DOMA's repeal, but only Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) showed up to speak in support of it.

The moral panic of the late 1980s and early 1990s left behind three major legacies: Bowers v. Hardwick, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and DOMA. The first two have fallen. And while states' laws and constitutional amendments have to be repealed as well, the federal DOMA is the most important brick in the wall. Today I could see that wall shaking.

Tom and Ron's story is a stark example of the kind of injustice same-sex couples face due to the Defense of Marriage Act. You can help reverse it by signing the petition to end the "gay tax" and repeal DOMA at


  1. Here is RON wallen DOMA video with toms voice.

  2. thank you for the video. I added it at the end of this entry. I appreciate the heads up.