The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a measure repealing the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). DOMA says the government recognizes only those marriages between a man and a woman. When the law passed 15 years ago, not one state recognized same-sex marriage. Six do now, as well as DC. Democrat Dianne Feinstein [pic] is sponsoring the Respect for Marriage Act, which would entirely repeal DOMA. Each of the Judiciary Committee’s 10 Democrats voted for the repeal; all eight Republicans were opposed. For now, any change in the law is likely to come through the courts.
Florida’s Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is the first Republican member of Congress to co-sponsor the Respect for Marriage Act. The legislation, introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein and Congressman Jerrold Nadler, would pave the way to make gay marriage legal within all 50 states by acknowledging that government should not define a couple by their sexual orientation.
This legislation would uphold the principle that the federal government should not deny gay and lesbian couples the same rights and legal protections as straight couples. The President has long called for a legislative repeal of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
Sens. Dianne Feinstein, Patrick Leahy, and Kirsten Gillibrand introduced a bill that would repeal the federal government’s ban on same-sex marriage, and President Obama is supporting it. The president has “long called for a legislative appeal for the so-called Defense of Marriage Act which continues to have a real impact on families,” White House spokesman Jay Carney announced. The president is “proud to support” the Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, Carney said. The Obama administration announced in February that it believes the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional and would no longer defend it in court.