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Blumenthal Joins Berlin Resident at Hearing to Support Repeal of Defense of Marriage Act


Slug: [Blumenthal Joins Berlin Resident at Hearing to Support Repeal of Defense of Marriage Act]

1.      On the left side of the Pathfire/DMG main page, click on Video News Feed (Master VNF Locator).

2.      From the expanded list, double-click on VNF Provider B.

3.      Click the U.S. Senate tab.

4.      Locate and click (CT1) CT, Blumenthal.  The link to the video will be displayed in the pane on the right.

5.      For more instructions, please see the attached PDF. 




(Washington, DC) – Senator Blumenthal (D-CT) today reiterated his support for the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) at the first-ever Senate hearing on the subject. At the hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Berlin, Connecticut resident Andrew Sorbo testified before the committee about the personal and financial hurdles DOMA created for him following the death of his husband, Dr. Colin Atterbury. Andrew and Colin were legally married in Connecticut in January of 2009, just four months before Colin passed away from pancreatic cancer. DOMA states that for federal purposes, marriage is between a man and a woman, even if a same-sex couple is legally married under state law.

After hearing of the numerous roadblocks due to DOMA Andrew faced to supervise his husband’s medical care and access retirement benefits after his death, Blumenthal facilitated Andrew’s appearance before the Senate. Blumenthal is a co-sponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act, legislation that would repeal DOMA and end federal discrimination against same-sex couples legally married under their own state laws.

Blumenthal said, “The emotional and financial toll imposed by DOMA is unjustifiable and discriminatory. Enduring the bureaucratic nightmare that DOMA adds to the pain of losing a loved one is something that no individual should have to experience. I am grateful to Andrew for sharing his story and giving a face and a voice to the importance of making marriage equality for all individuals – regardless of whom they love – the law of the land. Marriage has always been governed only by state law, and repealing DOMA is required to respect Connecticut’s law and our citizens.”

The Respect for Marriage Act repeals DOMA and instead states that state recognition of a person’s marriage is sufficient for the purposes of any federal law where marriage is a factor. This measure would restore to same-sex couples the same federal rights and responsibilities that all other married couples have, including federal pension benefits, Family and Medical Leave Act protections to care for a sick spouse or in-law, and access to Social Security survivorship benefits in the event of a spouse’s death.

Connecticut is currently one of six states, in addition to the District of Columbia, that recognize same-sex marriage.

Andrew said, “The financial aspect is only one aspect of the harm that DOMA does, and the discrimination against gay people [is] an insult to our dignity and our sense of equality.”

He continued, “were Colin sitting by my side today, he would implore you to stop disrespecting our marriage and treat us equally to other married couples, and to repeal DOMA… he would look every one of you in the eye before saying, ‘everybody deserves equal treatment, and all marriages between loving, committed adults should be treated equally.’”

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