Kirsten Gillibrand on Gay Marriage

Last Updated : Nov 11, 2010


While representing the 20th congressional district of New York, Congresswoman Gillibrand did not appear to support a repeal of don't ask, don't tell or full marriage equality. She stated in a radio interview that she supported civil unions to give same sex couples the same legal rights, and the ability of states to decide such matters as defining marriage.

Since assuming office, Senator Gillibrand has been an active and outspoken advocate for marriage equality for same-sex couples. She has appeared on numerous news outlets to speak out on the matter and appeared at numerous LGBT events. She states that for far too long, marriage and the basic rights of recognized relationships have been limited to straight couples and she believes that these rights should be afforded to all loving couples.

Senator Gilibrand is also a strong advocate for tougher hate crime legislation and the repeal of don't ask, don't tell. She has called the DADT policy "corrosive" and states that it has cost the US millions of dollars in lost assets.


Support for Civil Unions

In 2006, Congresswoman Gillibrand was running for re-election to the 20th congressional district and was interviewed on the Dicker Radio Show. When asked about gay marriage and civil unions, Senator Gillibrand said the following:


Support for Don't Ask, Don't Tell

When Congresswoman Gillibrand was appointed to the Senate to replace Senator Clinton, several gay rights activist web sites questioned her commitment and her voting record on gay rights, claiming that she had previously refused to co-sponsor legislation to repeal don't ask, don't tell.


Support for Repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell


Support for Hate Crimes Legislation and Repealing DOMA

In October of 2009, Senator Gillibrand spoke at the NY LBGT center and stated that she supported legislation for tougher hate crimes legislation, and that she supports the repeal of DOMA.


Towleroad Interview


In the Life Interview


Campaign Website Statements



Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

Session-111; Bill Number-S 424; Uniting American Families Act of 2009 - Cosponsor

Amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to include a "permanent partner" within the scope of such Act. Defines a "permanent partner" as an individual 18 or older who: (1) is in a committed, intimate relationship with another individual 18 or older in which both individuals intend a lifelong commitment; (2) is financially interdependent with the other individual; (3) is not married to, or in a permanent partnership with, any other individual other than the individual; (4) is unable to contract with the other individual a marriage cognizable under this Act; and (5) is not a first, second, or third degree blood relation of the other individual. Defines a "permanent partnership" as the relationship existing between two permanent partners.

Session-111; Bill Number-S 4023; Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010 - Cosponsor

Provides for repeal of the current Department of Defense (DOD) policy concerning homosexuality in the Armed Forces, to be effective 60 days after the Secretary of Defense has received DOD's comprehensive review on the implementation of such repeal, and the President, Secretary, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) certify to the congressional defense committees that they have considered the report and proposed plan of action, that DOD has prepared the necessary policies and regulations to exercise the discretion provided by such repeal, and that implementation of such policies and regulations is consistent with the standards of military readiness and effectiveness, unit cohesion, and military recruiting and retention. Provides that, until such time as the above conditions are met, the current policy shall remain in effect.

Session-111; Bill Number-S 1102; Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act of 2009 - Cosponsor

Provides that a federal employee and his or her domestic partner shall be entitled to benefits available to, and shall be subject to obligations imposed upon, a married federal employee and his or her spouse. Defines "domestic partner" to mean an adult unmarried person living with another adult unmarried person of the same sex in a committed, intimate relationship. Defines "benefits" to include federal health insurance and enhanced dental and vision benefits, retirement and disability benefits, family, medical, and emergency leave, group life insurance, long-term care insurance, compensation for work injuries, and benefits for disability, death, or captivity. Excludes members of the uniformed services from the definition of "employee."Sets forth requirements for filing: (1) an affidavit of eligibility as such a domestic partner, which shall include a certification that the employee and the domestic partner are each other's sole domestic partners and intend to remain so indefinitely; and (2) a statement upon dissolution of such a domestic partnership.

Session-112; Bill Number-S 598; Respect for Marriage Act of 2011 - Cosponsor

Amends the Defense of Marriage Act to repeal a provision that prohibited a state, territory, possession, or Indian tribe from being required to recognize any public act, record, or judicial proceeding of any other state, territory, possession, or tribe respecting a same sex marriage. Amends the federal rules of construction added by such Act concerning the definitions of "marriage" and "spouse" to provide that, for purposes of any federal law in which marital status is a factor, an individual shall be considered married if that individual's marriage is valid in the state where the marriage was entered into or, in the case of a marriage entered into outside any state, if the marriage is valid in the place where entered into and the marriage could have been entered into in a state. Removes the definition of "spouse" (currently, a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife).

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