Widower of First Openly Gay Congressman Fights DOMA for Denying Benefits to Married Same-Sex Couples

Democracy Now!
|
March 28, 2013
Issues: 

The U.S. Supreme Court continues its session on the issue of same-sex marriage, hearing arguments today on the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act. DOMA was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996 and denies federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples. We are joined by Dean Hara, a plaintiff in another lawsuit against DOMA. He is the widower of U.S. Rep. Gerry Studds, the first openly gay member of Congress. Hara reflects on Studds’ decision to come out as a gay man. "I think that, as he demonstrated in that act, it gave a lot of other people the confidence and the courage to also stand up," Hara said. "And I think that act has brought us where we are today. Less than 50 years after Stonewall, 30 years after Gerry spoke out on the floor of the House, it’s a different world that we live in."