U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi marked the 20th anniversary of the Family & Medical Leave Act in downtown Boston Monday.

The event, at SEIU Union 615 headquarters, was attended by activists and women and men helped by the law, which guarantees Americans protected time to care for loved ones.

Pelosi told WGBH News she would like to see its provisions applied universally to married gay couples and civil union partners. She said the Defense of Marriage Act hurts those efforts.

“DOMA prevents same-sex couples from participating in those opportunities, and that’s why striking it down it so important, because it says we’re going to be fair about this,” she said. “Family, as you describe it, and those families should have the full protection of the law, and that applies in maybe 1,400 different ways. But it makes a difference to millions of people in our country, whether you’re a same-sex marriage family or not, it’s about ending discrimination in America.”

Pelosi said DOMA, which is before the U.S. Supreme Court this week, is related to the same concerns that led Congress to enact the Family and Medical Leave Act twenty years ago.

“This is all about family,” she said. “I’m going to have the privilege on Wednesday of being present to listen to the arguments in the Supreme Court. I’m doing that because I think this is a very important issue to who we are as a country. We will not accept discrimination of any kind and I think DOMA is an act of discrimination. I believe it is unconstitutional. I pray that it will be struck down.”