NOTE: Our colleagues at the Human Rights Campaign just release some exciting poll results that show a majority of Americans oppose the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a law that denies vital benefits to married same-sex couples and that has been ruled unconstitutional in recent court decisions.
This change in public attitudes has great significance for same-sex couples here in Florida. While our state currently does not recognize the marriages of thousands of same-sex couples in Florida, the demise of DOMA will create a path for those couples to gain over 1,000 benefits and protections at the federal level. Such a shift can only help create the momentum necessary for gaining full equality for Florida's LGBT community.
HRC Poll: Voters Oppose Republican Defense of DOMA
Voters favor federal benefits to married same-sex couples; Marriage ranks last on priority
Washington – American voters oppose the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) – the law that forbids the federal government from recognizing legally married same-sex couples – as well as efforts by the House Republican leadership to intervene in court cases defending the law, according to new polling released today by the Human Rights Campaign in partnership with Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research. This poll is the first in a series of quarterly surveys from HRC and GQRR that will analyze public opinion on critical lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues.
Overall, voters say they oppose the Defense of Marriage Act – 51 percent oppose the law and 34 percent favor it. Independent voters, who were instrumental in the Republican House takeover, oppose this law by a 52 percent to 34 percent margin. Additionally when read statements for and against defending the law in court, 54 percent of voters oppose the House Republicans’ intervention, while only 32 percent support it. Poll results are available at www.hrc.org/DOMApoll2011.
DOMA prohibits the federal government from granting married same-sex couples things like Social Security survivor benefits, health insurance for federal employees’ spouses, joint tax filing, family and medical leave and other critical protections. When asked if they favor or oppose some of these benefits for gay and lesbian couples who have been legally married, voters responded: on Social Security survivor benefits, 60 favor, 34 oppose; on