Cantwell:Obama right to dump DOMA

Source: Seattle PI

President Obama took a “major step forward” by ordering the federal
government to back off from its legal defense of the Defense of Marriage Act,
Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., said Thursday.

The Obama administration announced its decision Wednesday, based on the
President’s belief that the 1996 law is unconstitutional.  The DOMA denies
federal recognition to marriages between same-sex couples.

“Washington state is one of several states that already recognizes civil
unions and domestic partnerships, and the state has laws in place to protect
against sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination,” Cantwell said in
a statement.

“I have worked with my colleagues to repeal discrimination against gays and
lesbians in the military, to classify crimes against individuals based on real
or perceived sexual orientation as hate crimes, and to encourage equal tax
treatment of health benefits for same-sex couples.”

The Cantwell statement did not specifically endorse the right of same-sex
couples to marry.

Same-sex marriages are currently recognized in five states and the District
of Columbia.  A bill legalizing same-sex marriage is expected to pass the
Maryland State Senate this week.

Earlier this week, Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed into law a civil
unions bill, granting same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexual married