Washington, D.C. – Nevada Senator Harry Reid released the following statement today on Senator Dianne Feinstein’s (D-CA) filing of the Respect for Marriage Act, which repeals the Defense of Marriage Act, in the 114th Congress:

“I am proud to stand with Senator Feinstein and forty-two of my Senate Democratic colleagues in defense of one of the founding principles of our country – equal justice under the law. Gay and lesbian couples deserve a Congress that will afford them the same rights as straight couples and I hope Senate Republicans will work with Democrats to pass this important bill and repeal DOMA.”

“The Supreme Court and a majority of Americans agree: the Defense of Marriage Act is wrong. DOMA discriminates against loving and committed lesbian and gay couples who have done nothing but ask the federal government to recognize their right to the same protections and benefits that straight couples enjoy under the law.

“Today, Nevada and thirty-five other states recognize these committed partnerships and grant equal protections. Passing the Respect for Marriage Act simply guarantees that gay and lesbian couples will be entitled to the same federal benefits as their straight peers. For those couples this can mean Social Security and veterans’ benefits that protect a spouse if they lose their loved one – the same right afforded to married heterosexual couples.

“Lesbian and gay couples deserve the same dignity and respect that straight couples already receive from the federal government.”