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Groups Form Coalition to Push for DOMA Repeal Groups Form Coalition to Push for DOMA Repeal

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Groups Form Coalition to Push for DOMA Repeal

Civil rights, progressive and a variety of other groups have formed a coalition to provide an extra boost to the effort to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and enact the Respect for Marriage Act. They hope the combined and unified effort will communicate a stronger message to lawmakers, especially because the coalition includes labor and faith groups.

"It becomes a clearer message that this is an issue that affects everybody," said Jo Deutsch, the federal director of Freedom to Marry.

The coalition, led by Freedom to Marry and the Human Rights Campaign, has three designated task forces - communications/messaging, field work and lobbying.

The lobbying is focused on increasing the number of cosponsors for the Respect for Marriage Act and targeting lawmakers that have signaled support for the bill but have yet to sign on as cosponsors. Deutsch said she plans on eventually talking to every member who is not a cosponsor, and is getting help from Log Cabin Republicans in lobbying GOP lawmakers.

Deutsch acknowledged that this Congress probably isn't going to advance the Respect for Marriage Act, but said lawmakers who aren't cosponsors are growing more sympathetic to the issue.

"The concerns for those who have not signed on have more to do with redistricting, primaries and the November election" than the issue itself, she said.

The coalition, which will launch a website this month, is not actively supporting political candidates who want to repeal DOMA and is keeping its focus on the Hill, Deutsch said.

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