Nadler: No DOMA Repeal Activity Till at Least 2011

The DC Agenda has an interview with Congressman Jerrold Nadler in which he discusses activity on DOMA and other gay legislation pending in Congress:

Nadlerdcagenda "Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said in an interview with DC Agenda that lawmakers will work on passing other pro-LGBT bills next year, and could take up legislation to repeal DOMA — known as the Respect for Marriage Act — at the end of the two-year session starting in 2011. 'The Respect for Marriage Act is a bill that we can’t pass right now; we know we can’t pass it right now,' he said.

Nadler said Congress won’t take up the DOMA repeal next year because other LGBT-related bills, including the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, legislation providing partner benefits for LGBT federal workers and a repeal of 'Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,' are taking precedence. Supporters hope to pass those measures by the end of 2010. 'The Respect for Marriage Act comes up after that, maybe at the end of the next Congress, maybe afterward,' he said."

Also: "During his Agenda interview, Nadler also addressed arguments that the Obama administration and Congress haven’t made sufficient progress on LGBT issues since the start of this year.

The lawmaker said Congress has had a significant workload this year — including the passage of two annual budgets as well as stimulus and relief legislation for financial institutions — and that advocates for LGBT issues would be better to make judgments on Congress’ work at the end of next year. 'I think it would be very fair by the time the election rolls around next October to say we haven’t done enough on these issues,' he said. 'I think a lot of things have been fermenting and cooking. I think we will see a fair amount of action on these issues in next year’s session.'

Asked whether President Obama could have spoken more forcefully on LGBT issues since the start of his administration, Nadler replied, 'I think he could have been more forthright on some of them.' He declined to elaborate."


  1. JerzeeMike says

    ??? RESPECT for Marriage Act? How does DOMA translate into Respect for? Besides, look at the shining examples of heterosexual marriage ie., the Gosslins and Tiger Woods. Hardly seems like they’re doing there part to respect marriage.

  2. Grimmlok says

    EH, the usual.


    Wait more.

    Wait till we have the house.

    Wait till we have the senate.

    Wait till we have the white house.

    Wait till health care is done.

    Wait till 2011

    Wait till 2014

    Wait till the sun goes nova

    Wait wait wait wait

  3. Ricco says

    This whole business of the gay community being patient, that Obama has a lot on his plate with the Mortgage crisis, the Wall Street meltdown, and two wars, and he is only prioritizing makes me question, not my patience, or the gay communities patience, but the priorities of the country I call home.

    Since 1776 when several water-logged Europeans came forth with such utopian platitudes as: “all men are created equal;”
    “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness;” asserting that is was a matter of “Natural Law” that a people would have the right to assert political independence; and that all the aforementioned and the many sweeping ideologies that followed (freedom of religion to name just one) were truths that they maintained to be self-evident . . . that ever since its publication, we have fought and opposed “The Declaration of Independence” and its utopian ideologies.

    Changing ones name does not automatically turn one into a whole different person. If anyone knows the futility of changing ones name to precipitate sweeping changes in ones personality, in ones self, it is gay people. One can call them selves America until they are “Red, White and Blue” in the face, and they will still only ever be merry old England, laboring under the tyranny of a different set of “Kings” and “Priests.”

    There has never been a separation of church and state.

    After 233 years even England looks a little more like America than America. Spain, Denmark, Canada, and other countries certainly look more like America then America.

    Allow me to wind this up. President Obama could be fighting four wars, and have a full-blown depression on his plate and it would still be painfully self-evident that the civil rights of transgender, lesbian, and gays should still be a top priority.

    This is the slippiest of slippery slopes, that the civil rights of a minority can be questioned and opposed by the majority, kept prisoner, shackled and bound to the ballot box.

    As long as America is in the business of flying in the face of its own ideologies, then no ones freedom is worth the ink they used to write the “Declaration of Independence.” It’s not even worth the blood that has been poured out on past battlefields, and certainly not worth the blood that is being poured in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    If we lack equality for all in this country, then we have proven ourselves unworthy of our own purported freedom.

  4. Chitown Kev says

    As much as I would like to see DOMA repealed, fact is, it is plainly obvious that the votes aren’t there for it nor will they be, I believe, in Obama’s first term.

    And it’s always been that obvious.

  5. Matthew N says

    Don’t waste your time. By then Boies and Olsen will have won our right to marry without any Democrat’s vote.

  6. John says

    Hypocrisy isn’t a new phenomenon in American politics. 11 years after the Founders adopted the Declaration of Independence under the “all men are created equal” banner, they wrote a Constitution which defined Africans as 3/5th of a human.

    As for DOMA?

    – 32 states have voted on the issue of same-sex marriage.

    – 32 states have rejected same-sex marriage.

    Until LGBT activists deal with that inconvenient truth and start pulling off some victories at the ballot box, there’s no way the Congress will reverse itself on DOMA. Even Nancy Pelosi – arguably the most liberal member of the current cabal of Democratic leaders – wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole.

    And contrary to what the faith-based initiative that has put all their eggs into the Supreme Court would have us believe, the judiciary does follow public opinion. They care about legislative trends too. Justice Anthony Kennedy even cited the fact that only 13 states actively enforced their sodomy statutes – a major change since Bowers was decided in 1986 – as a justification for overturning all of these laws en masse.

    Gays and lesbians need to stop pretending these electoral defeats don’t matter because they are morally “right.” In politics, being right is not a prerequisite for winning. LGBT folk have to start winning some of these skirmishes if they are going to change the overall narrative. America’s heavy reliance on direct democracy is deeply flawed. But you have to deal with the system you have rather than the one you want.

  7. Derrick from Philly says

    Interesting and insightful comment, JOHN. I still believe that the federal judiciary is where gay civil rights victories will be won, but it’s not a given.

    Still, federal courts have forced the American people, institutions, and local governments to accept certain civil rights and civil liberties for “others” that wouldn’t have happened if left up to the electorate (or would’ve taken far more time to happen). And of course, I want Obama or any Democrat to make those judicial appointments….ALTHOUGH, sometimes, Conservative President’s have picked some winners: Eisenhower gave us Earl Warren–Bless ’em both…then again, I think Ike once said choosing Warren as Chief Justice was his greatest mistake. Not for me, Ikey.

  8. John says


    It is still possible. But I think every defeat makes it that more unlikely because judges aren’t as apolitical as they seem.

    The one positive we have going for us?

    The federal judiciary doesn’t need to worry about getting re-elected.

    When the California Supreme Court initially ruled in favor of same-sex marriage, Chief Justice Ronald George said he believed the voters would make “the right decision” with regards to Prop. 8 and that the previous ban was passed “a long time ago.”

    This was a not-so-subtle reminder that the judges were depending on us to provide them with the political cover they needed before they came up for re-election in 2010. When Prop. 8 passed and they lost their political cover, George and two of the previously pro-marriage equality judges turned against us in a hurry. Almost overnight they started pushing the notion that “the people are sovereign” and indicated they would uphold the ban.

    I think that was a calculated move that had more to do with saving their jobs than anything else.

  9. Vito says

    Really JerzeeMike????

    The RESPECT FOR MARRIAGE ACT repeals DOMA. DOMA doesn’t translate into it, it is the opposite of it. Try to keep up.

  10. MrRoboto says

    John – Wouldn’t it be ironic if George and the two others lose their jobs come election time anyway?

  11. says

    IF all those other bills are passed, THEN I may give them some slack. Then again, I may be inspired by the momentum and demand the work continues unabated.

  12. says

    Perhaps if a few more members of congress (oh, and a president I could think of) were like Murphy and stood up loud and clear for what’s right (now!) then a few more voters might be convinced.

    Too many cowards.

    And I’m very disappointed in Nadler on this aspect. Where’s the fire gone Jerry?