Last week , Bill Donius, a new member of the HRC Board of Directors, posted an important piece at The Huffington Post on the why everyone should know about the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and why it is an unfair, unjust and outdated law.
The piece, titled DOMA for Dummies outlines the over 1,100 rights and benefits that are currently denied to same sex couples.
In case you don’t know what "DOMA" is, it is the legislation titled, "Defense of Marriage Act," enacted in 1996. DOMA enshrines discrimination against gays and lesbians by permitting states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.
Does DOMA matter? If you’re in a heterosexual marriage, recognition of same sex marriages may not matter to you. Your marriage is recognized by the state and federal government, not to mention your family, friends and co-workers — society in general. If you have one of these, you are entitled the automatic rights and privileges that go along with a civil marriage. i.e. if your spouse dies, you collect the benefits, you get the tax breaks, the hospital visitation rights and a myriad of other benefits conveyed by law. No problems, no questions asked.
Read: DOMA for Dummies