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July 19, 2011

GLAD Releases DOMA Stories: How Federal Marriage Discrimination Hurts American Families

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In connection with tomorrow’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the Respect for Marriage Act, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) today released DOMA Stories: How Federal Marriage Discrimination Hurts American Families, a book featuring twenty same-sex married couples from Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Vermont.

GLAD has been collecting the stories since before filing its first DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) lawsuit Gill v. Office of Personnel Management in 2009, and posting them at

The book, which will be distributed to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, features couples and families who have been deemed ineligible for military burial and to sponsor their spouse for citizenship; denied Family Medical Leave, burdened with higher taxes, denied their late spouse’s pension, denied health insurance for their spouse, and denied Social Security survivor benefits.

Andrew Sorbo of Connecticut, who is featured in the storybook, will testify at tomorrow’s hearing about losing his partner of 30 years and spouse of 4 months, Colin Atterbury, and how DOMA meant Andrew’s income dropped by 80% after Colin’s death.

Suzanne and Geraldine Artis of Connecticut, who are also featured in the book, will attend the hearing with their three sons, accompanied by GLAD attorney Mary Bonauto.

GLAD has won the first victory in the fight against DOMA, a July 2010 ruling in Gill that DOMA is unconstitutional. That ruling is now on appeal.  On Friday, July 15, GLAD filed a motion for summary judgment in its second case, Pedersen v. Office of Personnel Management.

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Through strategic litigation, public policy advocacy, and education, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders works in New England and nationally to create a just society free of discrimination based on gender identity and expression, HIV status, and sexual orientation.