Bill to Repeal DOMA to be Introduced in House on Wednesday

A bill to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act is coming this week as promised, the Advocate reports:

Nadler According to a news release from the House, the Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal DOMA in its entirety, will be re-introduced by Reps. Nadler, Conyers, Barney Frank, Tammy Baldwin, Jared Polis, and David Cicilline. The legislation already has 105 original co-sponsors in the House, and Sens. Diane Feinstein, Patrick Leahy and Kirsten Gillibrand plan to introduce a companion bill in the Senate.

“The Respect for Marriage Act would repeal DOMA, and comes in response to a call from President Obama for Congressional action on the issue,” reports the news release. “As the President has stated: ‘I stand by my long-standing commitment to work with Congress to repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act. It’s discriminatory, it interferes with states’ rights, and it’s time we overturned it.’ Last week, on the heels of the President’s decision not to defend DOMA in court, House Republican Leadership announced that it will defend DOMA in court, making passage of the Respect for Marriage Act more critical than ever.”

The legislation will be re- introduced at an 11 am press conference this Wednesday.

Recent DOMA developments…
Boehner Announces House Will Defend DOMA in Court [tr]
DOMA: Defending the Indefensible [tr]
Immigration Equality Prepping Binational DOMA Case [tr]
DOMA: The Ripple Effects of Heightened Scrutiny [tr]


  1. CGD says

    Why are they doing this? It’s not going anywhere, they don’t have the votes in the House.

    Is Joe going to say this is a positive development?

    Are they hoping this will open the GayTM for next year?

  2. searunner says

    Of course the bills will go nowhere and the politicians who are introducing the bills know this. They also knew that even when the Dems had 60 seats in the Senate a DOMA repeal bill would have been DOA.

    So, why are they introducing the bills? One reason is to show support for a critical part of the Democratic base in 2012. The other is to force the GOP to wage battles on social issues in tough economic times.

    The 2012 elections will go a lot smoother for Dems if the GOP spends the next 2 years focusing on hot button social issues and not the economy and job creation. So, yes it is politics, and yes our rights are being used as a wedge issue, but in a somewhat different way than in previous years.

  3. Jake says

    This almost makes me sick to my stomach!
    Why now when it stand NO chance of passing with THIS congress.
    Why was it not introduced when the Dems had control?!!! Ugh.

  4. Chadd says

    My personal feeling is that the Democrats didn’t accomplish very much in the 2 years they had full control. Partly because the Repub minority in effect changed the rules so that every issue required 60 votes to pass the Senate and partly because the Dems were just too afraid of doing anything. The bill has 0% chance of passing now, where it would have only had about a 10% chance a year ago.

    I agree with SEARUNNER that this is probably good political strategy, but in some ways I feel that while it may benefit the Democratic Party, it will certainly not benefit the LGBT community and may in fact set us back.

  5. BobN says

    Good lord, people. Give your pols SOME credit. There could be, you know, what’s called a “strategy” at work here.

    In politics, certainly these days, you don’t ask for what you can reasonably get. You ask for the moon — look at almost any bill by the GOP — and you settle for something watered down later.

    A huge majority of the American people favor fairness on the part of the federal government when it comes to recognition of our rights. Maybe the end-game with this bill is repeal of Section 3.

    Wouldn’t you like repeal of Section 3? Do you think we’re gonna get it by not engaging in the fight?

  6. Gregv says

    “A huge majority of the American people favor fairness…”

    BobN: The proportion of people endorsing equality is constantly growing, but the last poll I saw said that proportion among voters is dead even with those who think gay people do not deserve equal treatment.
    We already have a solid majority of Democrats. I suspect that in the next election we will have a slight (not huge) majority of voters, but that that “huge” majority is still a decade away.

  7. ken says

    Typical Democrats. They introduce bills like DOMA repeal and ENDA in years when Republicans have control but not when they can control whether or not it passes. It’s a strategy too squeeze more money out of the gays. They don’t really want to pass anything because it will take away an issue they can use to fund raise. How long will you guys keep falling for this?

  8. Dan says

    This bull just undermines my faith in American democracy. Barney Frank is now BEHIND the repeal, even though the GOP has a majority in the House, making it even less likely to pass than when he was opposed to trying to repeal. It’s just kabuki theater, with the Dems trying to press some kind of perceived advantage on the subject against the Republicans. It used to be that the GOP used social issues as a wedge, now it’s the Dems. In either case, gays aren’t benefiting.

    FYI, back then, Towleroad reported this:

    “Barney Frank said last week he was not putting his support behind the bill because he doesn’t feel it has the votes to pass in the near term, suggesting that lawsuits currently underway challenging DOMA have a better chance of getting the law overturned.”

  9. mcNnyc says

    PATHETIC Joke coming my Congressman Jerold Nadler who voted against ENDA when we could have had some protection in job discrimination.
    This is just a cheap no cost shot to fire up the queer dollars in the upcoming election.

    When Nadler actually HAD power he was voiceless.
    Where were the Dems when the “Healthcare” Bill was sticking it to the LGBT community…bargained away.

    Nadler COULD have been a progressive voice coming from a Liberal district but in the last 2 years…he delivered NOTHING.
    Oh btw he has a fundraiser coming up….