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Gov. Jerry Brown and San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders have joined several other state and local leaders across the country in urging the federal government to recognize same-sex marriages by passing the Respect for Marriage Act.
The legislation, which passed a Senate committee and is headed for a vote by the full Senate, would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, a 1996 law that defines marriage as a legal union between a man and a woman. Six states plus Washington, D.C., grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples while California briefly allowed the practice until voters approved a gay-marriage ban in 2008.
“Tens of thousands of loving and committed gay and lesbian couples have been strengthened because our states recognize their equal right to marry,” the letter said. “These couples work hard, pay taxes and share the same values as other married couples but they are constantly hamstrung in their ability to protect themselves and their families because of the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act.”
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