First Hearing to Repeal DOMA Scheduled in Senate for July 20

Following rumblings earlier this month that they were coming, Freedom to Marry reports that the first hearing to discuss repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) will be held in the Senate next week:

Leahy Today, Senator Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, announced a hearing on the Respect for Marriage Act, the bill that would overturn DOMA, scheduled for Wednesday July 20th. The hearing will be the first time Congress has heard testimony on legislation that would end federal marriage discrimination against gay and lesbian couples. 
“With thousands of loving and committed couples in New York set to marry this month, now is the perfect time for the Senate to begin the process of repealing the discriminatory so-called Defense of Marriage Act,” said Freedom to Marry National Campaign Director Marc Solomon.  “Until DOMA’s enactment, the federal government had always honored marriages celebrated in the states. It’s time for Congress to end this gay exception and allow legally married same-sex couples access to the tools and security available to all other couples to build a life together and protect their families.”


  1. Mark says

    The point of this hearing is what exactly? To get the DOMA repeal bill passed? That would require the House of Representatives passing it too. Has it escaped Senator Leahy’s attention that the republican-controlled House has actually hired lawyers to DEFEND DOMA in federal lawsuits?

    This should have been done in the last Congress when both the Senate AND the House were in Democrat hands. Obviously with the republicans now controlling the House, a repeal of DOMA won’t even be considered. This is what angers me about the democrats: they do the right thing when it’s too late to matter.

  2. Randy says

    I agree with Mark that the timing on this doesn’t make a great deal of sense.

    Further, I suspect DOMA repeal will ultimately only repeal section 3, like the Respect For Marriage Act does. ALL of DOMA must be repealed, including section 2, which modified Chapter 115 of title 28, United States Code.

    Democrats should not be allowed to pretend they are discussing DOMA repeal, if they are only prepared to consider section 3.

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