The Honorable John Boehner, Speaker The Honorable Eric Cantor, Majority LeaderU.S. House of Representatives U.S. House of RepresentativesH-232, The Capitol H-329, The CapitolWashington, DC 20515 Washington, DC 20515The Honorable Kevin McCarthy, Majority WhipU.S. House of RepresentativesH-107, The CapitolWashington, D.C. 20515December 18, 2012Dear Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader Cantor and Majority Whip McCarthy:With the election behind us, the American people are ready for our leaders in Washington to work together
responsibly on behalf of the nation’s best interests.
As you welcome the start of a new Congress, there is
much to be done to ensure America’s future is as bright as its shining past, serving as a beacon of hope for
all who wish to pursue the dream of freedom, prosperity and happiness.
And as leaders of the nation’s
largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) advocacy organizations, we wanted to take thisopportunity to write about one major way you can ensure the House efficiently serves the American people:by ending its unpopular and costly defense of the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).Despite the enormous economic challenges our country is facing, the House of Representatives recentlydecided to increase government spending to defend this discriminatory law
a law that intentionally harms
thousands of Americans who are legally married. Exit polls from last month’s election indicate that the
economy was overwhelmingly the number one concern for voters, with nearly 60 percent saying it was themost important issue facing lawmakers. The deficit and foreign policy also proved top of mind for voters,34 percent of whom said their financial situation was worse off today than it was four years ago. To thatend, a 2004 report from the Congressional Budget Office estimates federal individual income and estate taxrevenues would actually increase $700 million per year if DOMA did not mandate the nonrecognition of marriages of same-sex couples.At the same time, voters in three states approved marriage equality and, in Minnesota, rejected writing a
marriage ban into their state’s constitution.
A strong majority of Americans support marriage for loving,committed same-sex couples
including an increasing number of conservatives. With more statesallowing committed same-sex couples to obtain civil marriage licenses, DOMA imposes burdens on hard
working, tax paying citizens. There’s no good reason to treat couples who have taken on the commitmen
tof marriage as single, and deny them spousal protections like Social Security survival benefits, familyhealth and federal pension benefits, and the ability to take unpaid leave to care for a sick or injuredspouse.
It’s not surprising that recent polli
ng from Greenberg Quinlan Rosner found that a majority of
Americans oppose DOMA and the Republicans’ defense of it in court.
Americans have sent a clear message that they want lawmakers to focus on strengthening our economy,creating jobs, and securing a bright future for generations to come. Spending $2 million
on harming LGBT people and wasting precious time and resources that should be spent on more importantissues is not the way to best serve the interests of the American people. We strongly urge you to take aleadership role on this critical issue and stop pouring taxpayer dollars into a law that discriminates againstAmericans.