Federal legislation remedies inequity

Last modified: 3/22/2011 12:00:00 AM
I am writing to thank Sen. Jeanne Shaheen for cosponsoring the Respect for Marriage Act of 2011, to ask Sen. Kelly Ayotte to support it, and to ask Reps. Frank Guinta and Charlie Bass for their support once passed to the House.

My husband and I, New Hampshire residents and citizens of the United States, were married in Toronto during 2007. Our marriage is valid and recognized in our home state, yet because of the Defense of Marriage Act, our marriage is neither valid nor recognized by the federal government. Because of this 10th Amendment violation, we are denied various benefits available to our heterosexual counterparts including joint tax filing, access to Social Security benefits, and tax-free estate passage. Most egregiously, we are relegated to second-class status. The Respect for Marriage Act of 2011 remedies this inequity.

While I do not advocate public voting on civil rights, I would like to remind our representatives of the support New Hampshire's citizens have shown for marriage equality. On Feb. 17, hearings were held by the House in Concord to repeal marriage equality through three separate bills. That day, supporters of equality, per the committee sign-in sheet, outnumbered supporters of those bills by a 13-1 margin. New Hampshire's overwhelmingly passionate support is unquestionable.

I am asking my Republican representatives in Washington to rise above politics and defy their party in support of this legislation and their constituents. Provide equal access to the pursuit of happiness: Support the Respect for Marriage Act of 2011.

AARON GILL

Deering




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