Dianne Feinstein | Discrimination | DOMA | Gay Marriage | Jerrold Nadler | Kirsten Gillibrand | News

Watch: House, Senate Dems Introduce Legislation to Repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)


This morning in the House, and this afternoon in the Senate, legislation was introduced that would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

Watch both press conferences, AFTER THE JUMP...

The WSJ:

On the House side, Reps. Jerry Nadler (D., N.Y.) (at podium, below) and John Conyers (D., Mich.) teamed up 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.) (above) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.). Some 20 other co-signers have signaled their support.

Recently President Obama concluded, upon consultation with Attorney General Eric Holder, that classifications based on sexual orientation should be subject to heightened legal scrutiny and that Section 3 of DOMA, as applied to legally married same-sex couples, is unconstitutional.  The Administration said that it would continue to enforce DOMA until it was repealed or overturned by the courts, but it would curtail defense of Section 3 of DOMA in legal challenges.

White House spokesman Shin Inouye released the following statement to Towleroad: “The President has long said that DOMA is discriminatory and should be repealed by Congress.  We welcome the introduction of bills that would legislatively repeal DOMA, and look forward to working with lawmakers to achieve that goal.”

Watch both press conferences, AFTER THE JUMP...

Meanwhile, a House resolution with 81 Republican sponsors condemns Obama for his decision to stop defending DOMA in court.

Recent DOMA developments...
Poll Shows Americans Oppose DOMA, Government Defense of It [tr]
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]


Here's the full House press conference, led by Rep. Jarrold Nadler (D-NY)

Here are several clips from the Senate press conference. In the first Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduces the bill:

Feinstein discusses her work with the Courage Campaign, and Courage Campaign members Jeanne Rizzo and Pali Cooper from Tiburon, CA, discussing their story of hardship under DOMA upon returning to the United States.

Courage Campaign members Jon and Robert Cooper tearfully talking about a medical emergency in their family and why DOMA should be repealed (introduced by Sen. Gillibrand).

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  1. Wow, Obama-you won't get a 2nd Term.

    But the gays are happy!!

    Posted by: Rowan | Mar 16, 2011 6:48:00 PM

  2. DOMA repeal will have no bearing on whether Obama gets re-elected. It's the economy. In particular the mid-west and other swing states.

    If this bill makes to a full house vote it will be interesting to see how many so called Tea Party members of congress will vote in favor to repeal since they claim to be for liberty and states rights.

    Posted by: Brian in Texas | Mar 16, 2011 7:21:55 PM

  3. rowan

    Obama's 2nd term will be on jobs jobs jobs economy economy economy

    Posted by: mstrozfckslv@yahoo.com | Mar 16, 2011 7:24:35 PM

  4. Obama has no serious Republican opposition at the moment, so there's no reason to believe he won't have a second term if the economy improves. The Republican opposition in the House and Senate, however, will ensure that this won't get far, yet. All of us who have representatives in favor of repealing DOMA should let them know we appreciate their support and pressure them to keep at it. It's only a matter of time before DOMA goes, but better sooner than later.

    Posted by: Ernie | Mar 16, 2011 7:35:08 PM

  5. I think this is a great use of the momentum that has been building for equal rights. And I agree that while this might piss off some of the right-wingers, Obama's 2nd term will depend much more heavily on the economy, which affects much more of the American society than gay marriage ever will, no matter what the conservatives say.

    Posted by: Austin | Mar 16, 2011 7:39:18 PM

  6. Anyone know where there's a list of co-sponsors?

    Posted by: David R. | Mar 16, 2011 7:56:18 PM

  7. This is a great step toward equality but unfortunatly wont go very far until the bigot party and there "tea party" thugs get relegated to a minority for a good long time where they belong and keep it up equality hearted democrats and others in leadership
    we need you.

    a small voice crying out in the forest of prejudice and hatred

    Posted by: curtis | Mar 16, 2011 7:57:03 PM

  8. All a big show with absolutely NO chance of going anywhere. That's why they're doing it now. Anyone who believes these politicians are serious about this is a fool. Otherwise why did they wait until they lost control of the House to move on this?

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Mar 16, 2011 7:58:43 PM

  9. House and Senate dems just introduced legislation to repeal DOMA, and I'm PISSED. Why? Because this is an obvious political ploy that they know has no chance of surviving. Why didn't they do this a few months ago before they lost control of the House? Fuckers.

    Posted by: JC | Mar 16, 2011 8:19:20 PM

  10. they are politicians and like most politicians cowardly but most are not out to destroy us like the bigot party that shows the heart is there even if the backbone isn't we must keep up the fight as the bigots will not stop.

    Posted by: curtis | Mar 16, 2011 8:19:36 PM

  11. I suppose it feels good to watch this, but the whole thing is a joke as others have said. They are only doing this BECAUSE it has no chance of passing. (Well put, JC.)

    Maybe there is hope for justice in a few years. I'm just glad DOMA is in our crosshairs now. This vile law has to die.

    Posted by: Dan | Mar 16, 2011 8:24:13 PM

  12. Some of you are never happy. DOMA had no chance to pass the last Congress either under current filibuster rules. DADT was the attainable goal, and it was attained. Now we have a handful of progressive heroes (well, and Feinstein too) who are starting the debate for the first time. Of course it won't go anywhere in this Congress, but it plants the seeds and makes the country sit up and realize there is an issue. Moreover, the GOP brickshitting will provide evidence to Justice Kennedy that gays are a suspect class still with little political power. It's a long game, people, not instant gratification.

    Posted by: Scott | Mar 16, 2011 8:32:43 PM

  13. anything that gives hope is worthwhile even if it won't go anywhere at the moment but the vile law WILL be relegated to history along with the bigots that support it.

    Posted by: curtis | Mar 16, 2011 8:38:52 PM

  14. Sure, we can be pissed at the Dem's perpetually poor timing, but we should be a lot more pissed at the true reason this won't pass--Republicans.

    Bringing this to the floor and having politicians on record in favor of repealing DOMA is important as we move forward. As DOMA cases progress through the courts, greater political support for repeal matters. As for it being a political ploy--what isn't? Does anyone think anything that happens politically is not a ploy of one kind or another. Better a ploy in our favor than all of those ploys against us by the "small government" party.

    Frankly, a ploy is overstating the political importance of this--DOMA isn't going to sway the election in any Dem's favor, and it's foolish for us to pretend we hold that kind of sway. If they didn't genuinely believe DOMA should go, they could ignore it (as they have for years now); this is a sign that momentum is shifting in our favor. And an opportunity for us to bring it to the attention of all the straight people we know. That's how politics works.

    Posted by: Ernie | Mar 16, 2011 8:43:35 PM

  15. I hope the bricks hurt coming out lol

    Posted by: curtis | Mar 16, 2011 8:46:06 PM

  16. politicians of any party /stripe do not start parades

    they do rush to lead them after they are already started

    Posted by: mstrozfckslv@yahoo.com | Mar 16, 2011 8:58:29 PM

  17. It would of course be great for this to pass, but it just seems like political theater, equivalent to the tea partiers introducing legislation to repeal the Health Care Bill. It makes the base feel good (see, the Democrats DO care about us!), with little to no chance of actually having an effect on policy.

    Posted by: C | Mar 16, 2011 10:26:04 PM

  18. Ernie, DOMA was President Clinton's baby. Democrats gave us this law, full stop.

    Posted by: Dan | Mar 16, 2011 11:13:29 PM

  19. way to go now that you lost the majority in both houses. i love being a football.

    Posted by: amknyc | Mar 16, 2011 11:52:26 PM

  20. Clinton signed the law only because it was passed by veto-proof majorities in both houses of congress. If he hadn't signed the law it still would have become law and he also would have taken a hit politically at the time.

    Posted by: KD | Mar 17, 2011 2:08:44 AM

  21. I wonder if any of you all actually watched this press conference all the way through. I, too, am struck by the seeming cynicism at work in the timing of the Obama administration's abandonment of a DOMA defense and the introduction of repeal legislation in Congress.

    But much, much more than that, I am floored by Edie Windsor's story of true love, one that conquered disapproval, illness, discrimination and disrespect. I knew who she was, but I had never heard her story before today, and it floored me. Mrs. Windsor, you are my hero, too. I hope your story is told and told again, and that it changes hearts and minds across our nation and all over the world.

    Posted by: Vann | Mar 17, 2011 2:55:32 AM

  22. Lolz wheres was this 2 years ago. or how about legislation giving same sex couples of federal workers health benefits? GRRR

    Posted by: kevind | Mar 17, 2011 5:26:42 AM

  23. "Ernie, DOMA was President Clinton's baby. Democrats gave us this law, full stop."

    @Dan: I wasn't defending Clinton or DOMA. (DOMA was wrong and Clinton was wrong to support it.) I'm defending the Democrats who are currently supporting repeal. They're on our side. The Republicans are not. And let's not rewrite history here. The Republicans gave us DOMA, too. They endorsed it in their platform and voted for it. Wouldn't have passed without them. And let's not forget which party has pushed for a Federal Marriage Amendment. DOMA is not discriminatory enough for many Republicans.

    Posted by: Ernie | Mar 17, 2011 10:26:03 AM

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