Monday, March 14, 2011

DOMA Repeal to be Introduced This Week

The Advocate reports that the Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal the "Defense of Marriage Act," will be introduced in the House on Wednesday by Reps. Jerrold Nadler, John Conyers, Barney Frank, Tammy Baldwin, Jared Polis, and David Cicilline (the last four of which being the four openly gay members of the House).

Sens. Dianne Feinstein, Patrick Leahy and Kirsten Gillibrand plan to introduce a similar bill to the Senate, although no timetable is yet known for that bill.

The House bill already has 105 co-sponsors, putting it at about the halfway point to passage (218 of the 435 representatives are needed to pass a bill).  But given the fact that the House is currently under Republican control, with Republican leadership planning on defending DOMA in court in the absence of Department of Justice defense, there is essentially no chance of the bill's passage in the House.  The Senate has a narrow Democrat majority, but I would say it is about equally unlikely of the bill's passage in the upper chamber, as 60 Senators would have to join together to overcome a Republican filibuster.

Still, it is encouraging to see that 1/4 of our elected representatives in the House support eliminating the discriminatory DOMA.  It is not enough to pass the bill, but it is a start.

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.  Even if we cannot gain a majority, we can make a symbolic statement about nationwide rising support for LGBT rights.

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