...that is, if it actually comes up for a vote.
Those who know Congress well know that promises get made and get broken; bills that are supposed to be marked up get pushed away as priorities shift, as elections draw near, and as new situations arise. But the fact remains that, if the Senate Judiciary Committee votes on the "Respect for Marriage Act" - which would repeal the so-called "Defense of Marriage Act" and allow married gay couples the same federal rights as straight couples - it will have enough votes to pass.
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who chairs the committee, has announced that DOMA repeal will be considered by the committee next month. If this happens, the 18-member committee has enough votes to pass the bill; every single Democrat on the committee is a co-sponsor of the bill:
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)
Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wisc.)
Sen, Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.)
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.)
Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.)
Sen. Christopher Coons (D-Del.)
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)
It would be historic for the Senate Committee to vote in favor of repealing DOMA, which has kept gay couples from being treated equally under federal law. Doubtlessly, the Senate as a whole would not be able to pass the bill this Congress - as we would need not 51, but 60 votes to do so and currently only have 29 cosponsors - but this is an incredible and encouraging first step towards federal marriage equality.
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