The New York State Bar Association applauds President Obama for endorsing the right of same-sex couples to marry.

The State Bar has long supported equal rights for same sex couples, and was proud to advocate for legislative recognition of the right of these couples to marry in New York. The state's Marriage Equality Act was signed into law on June 24, 2011.

A month after that historic event, President Obama endorsed legislation that would repeal the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which discriminates against married same-sex couples in New York and elsewhere.

DOMA denies federal benefits, such as spousal social security or the ability to file joint tax returns, that are granted to other married couples.  It also allows other states to disregard the marital status of New York's same-sex couples.

The State Bar Association has advocated for the repeal of DOMA, and identified it as a legislative priority of the Association. Same-sex couples in New York and elsewhere are entitled to full equality under the law.

We urge Congress to repeal DOMA.


The 77,000-member New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation.  It was founded in 1876.

Contact: Lise Bang-Jensen
Director of Media Services & Public Affairs