DOMA Repeal Has Enough Support to Advance to Senate Floor

The Washington Blade's Chris Johnson reports that DOMA repeal legislation has picked up enough votes (at least 10) in the Senate Judiciary Committee to advance to the Senate floor:

Feinstein Last week, the Respect of Marriage Act, legislation sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) that would repeal the 1996 anti-gay law that prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriage, gained two additional co-sponsors: Sens. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Herb Kohl (D-Wis.).

Kohl’s support for the legislation is critical because he’s a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and would have a vote when the roll is called to move the legislation to the floor. Lynn Becker, a Kohl spokesperson, said the senator had previously considered DOMA a state issue.

Meanwhile, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), another member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has also said she’d vote for repeal of DOMA in committee, although she’s stopped short of co-sponsoring the legislation. 

Significant hurdles remain once the legislation is advanced to the Senate floor, but advocates are looking for the opportunity to get a fair hearing for the measure.


  1. Brian in Texas says

    Good. So we will get a simple up or down vote and be able to see who is really on our side when it comes to equality.

    Of course this will be DOA when it gets to the House. Will be interesting to see if any tea party “libertarian” republicans will vote in favor of this if it makes it to a floor vote.

  2. Patric says

    “Lynn Becker, a Kohl spokesperson, said the senator had previously considered DOMA a state issue.” WTF? If s/he really said that, it makes absolutely no sense. DOMA is in fact the opposite: it takes what should be a state issue and makes it a federal one. The federal government has stepped in to, among other matters, deny federal recognition to marriages recognized by individual states.

    Brian, sadly we are not likely to get even a simple up or down vote in the Senate as the Republicans are likely to filibuster. Nonetheless, I suppose that this represents one step forward with hopefully more significant steps to follow in 2013 if we can defeat some Republicans in Congress in 2012.

  3. Francis says

    I expect essentially nothing from most legislators at this point, so any non-negative news is good news to me.

  4. Aaron says

    Glad to see Harkin’s support. We have marriage equality at the state level in Iowa… time for federal recognition (and for other states to join us, of course!).