The bill, coined the Respect for Marriage Act, would end DOMA, the 1996 law that banned the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriage even if a couple has been married under state law. The legislation comes on the heels of a February announcement from the Obama administration that the Department of Justice will no longer defend DOMA in court.As I wrote earlier this week, I believe it is highly unlikely that DOMA will be repealed this congress, as Republicans have a majority in the House and have already pushed to defend DOMA in the Justice Departments' stead. However, there is no question that support for DOMA is dwindling: it is only a matter of time before the law is repealed.
Reps. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) and John Conyers (D-Mich.) partnered with the four openly gay members of Congress, Reps. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), David Cicilline (D-R.I.), Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Jared Polis (D-Colo.), plus more than 100 cosponsors on the legislation, which is slated for formal introduction Wednesday afternoon.
In the Senate, the DOMA repeal effort will be led by Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), with about 20 cosponsors signaling support.
Call your congressman and tell him or her to support the Respect for Marriage Act, or click here to fill out an easy form that will send a letter to your rep on your behalf.