Rep. Richard Hanna, a Republican congressman from New York who was voted into office in the 2010 Tea Party election, has come out in favor of repealing the Defense of Marriage Act and guaranteeing federal recognition of all legal marriages performed in the states.
“New York State allows all its citizens the freedom to marry the person they love,” he said. “Under the Tenth Amendment, the federal government has a Constitutional responsibility to respect New York’s right to set its own laws. It’s my job to see that it does.
“It is right to extend equal protection under federal law to all couples who are legally married without infringing upon religious freedom and beliefs,” Hanna continued. “This legislation does not tell states who can be married or who must be treated as married, nor does it require any religious institution to violate their own convictions.
“I respect the deeply held beliefs on both sides of this issue,” he said. “The simple fact remains that the federal government has a responsibility to ensure all legally married couples are treated equally under federal law – and this bill would achieve that proper standard.”
He is the second Republican member of the House to do so, following Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida.