Written Testimony: S.598, The Respect for Marriage Act: Assessing the Impact of DOMA on American Families
By M.V. Lee Badgett, Ilan H. Meyer, Gary J. Gates, Nan D. Hunter, Jennifer C. Pizer, Brad Sears
Submitted to the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary for its Hearing on “S.598, The Respect for Marriage Act: Assessing the Impact of DOMA on American Families,” this written testimony summarizes demographic data about same-sex couples and the serious financial, legal, social and health consequences of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) for them and their families. Included are important findings from Williams Institute research about same-sex couples: there are 581,300 same-sex couples in the United States, including 50,000 to 80,000 legally married same-sex and another 85,000 who are in civil unions or registered domestic partnerships; approximately 20% of same-sex couples are raising nearly 250,000 children; almost one-fourth of same-sex partners are people of color; over 7% of individuals in same-sex couples are veterans of the U.S. armed forces; and, same-sex couples live in every congressional district and in almost every county in the United States.