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Senator Pat Leahy (VT) Praises DOMA Demise, Drops Push On UAFA

Senator Patrick Leahy, Democrat of Vermont

Senator Patrick Leahy, Democrat of Vermont

Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy lauded the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the key part of the Defense of Marriage Act, and vowed to continue the push to ensure that the nation’s laws provide equal protection for all.

Leahy noted that “thousands of gay and lesbian individuals and families across the country have had their rights vindicated by the Supreme Court’s decision. I share the joy of millions of American families that they will be treated fairly by their Federal government.”

Leahy, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, went on to add that “Despite today’s historic ruling there are still improvements needed to our Federal laws to ensure that all families are protected. I will continue to work with Senator Feinstein on legislative fixes still needed in the wake of this historic decision.”

Leahy noted that while the Supreme Court’s decision means that “all lawfully married couples will be recognized under Federal law, uncertainty remains as to statutory and regulatory provisions beyond DOMA that treat same-sex married couples differently.”

So far, all deportations of married lesbians and gays appear to have been stopped. Despite the uncertainty, Leahy did announce that he would no longer be seeking a floor vote on the Uniting American Family Act because it is now no longer necessary. Leahy stated that “With the Supreme Court’s decision today, it appears that the anti-discrimination principle that I have long advocated will apply to our immigration laws and binational couples can now be united under the law. As a result of this welcome decision, I will not be seeking a floor vote on my amendment.”

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