Statement Opposing DoMA
by Mike Lowry, Washington State Governor
addressed to a constituent
August 14, 1996
As governor, I have a solemn duty to represent all the citizens of the state of Washington. This includes gays and lesbians, who are taxpayers and voters. It would be a violation of my oath of office if I were to support blatant discrimination against any segment of the state’s population.
The so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” is discriminatory. There is no evidence to support the charge that same-sex marriage would weaken the institution of civil marriage in this country. In fact, supporters of marriage should be elated that such a large segment of the population of our nation is clamoring for the stability and commitment that marriage can bring.
In reality, however, the Defense of Marriage Act isn’t about protecting or strengthening the institution of marriage. The Defense of Marriage Act was put forward to divide people, not bring people together. And that’s just plain wrong.
That’s why I recently held a press conference to denounce this terrible legislation, as well as the misguided attempt on the federal level to punish children through so-called “welfare reform.” Whether it’s discrimination against gays and lesbians or discrimination against the poor, it’s still discrimination, and it’s wrong.
It is my hope that the federal government will give serious consideration to these issues, and decide that it is not in the best interest of our great nation to relegate entire classes of citizens to second-class status.