Senator Announces DOMA Hearings

Leahy Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy announced today that he will soon hold hearings on the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, a 15-year old law the Obama Administration refuses to defend.

From the Washington Blade:

According to a Senate Democratic aide, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, intends to hold a hearing on DOMA repeal “in the next few weeks.”

A more definitive date for when the hearing would take place or the individuals who would be invited as witnesses weren’t immediate known.

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand cheered the news, and compared Leahy's hearings to the recent debate about equality here in the Empire State: "if Democrats and Republicans can come together to do what’s right in New York, I know we can do the same in Congress to do what’s right for all of America. Now is the time to act on the federal level.”


  1. Matt says

    Thank you Senator!
    I know this is a huge generalization but it seems like there are very few people in his age range who would have the decency to do this. Most are xenophobic bigots.

  2. yonkersconquers says

    Please call his office and Senator Gillibrand’s to thank them for their leadership and to encourage them to hold these hearings.

    This is a crucial step for LGBT equality.

  3. Ken says

    So someone explain to me why pro gay rights bills only get introduced when they have no chance of passing (GOP control of the House). For example, ENDA has been introduced in almost every Congress for the last 15 years, but the one Congress in that period of time which the Democrats had conrtol of (2009-2010),allowed it to die in committee. Sorry to break to you folks, but the Democrats only like introducing pro gay bills to raise gay money. They have no interest in seeing any of these bills actually pass, that was proven in the last Congress.

  4. ohplease says

    @Ken: because all politics is theatre. Every one of them work for the same masters. You’ll get your equality either through the courts — if you’re lucky — or you won’t get it at all.

  5. says

    “They have no interest in seeing any of these bills actually pass, that was proven in the last Congress.”

    The Democrats certainly aren’t blameless when it comes to gay rights, or lack thereof, but they are the ones who support ending DOMA. Sen. Leahy is a Senate veteran, and at this point in his career would not support a bill just to “raise gay money.” His constituents support the repeal of DOMA. Saying he supports it as a fundraising ploy would be stupid politics in my state.

    DOMA may ultimately be overturned in the Courts (cases are proceeding now) rather than in the legislature, but it certainly will not be repealed on any Republican’s watch, or with more Republican appointees to the SC.

  6. MadM@ says

    you know, maybe he sees a potential way of saving millions in lawyer fees by taking care of it through legislature and not drawn out court battles. I think “I’m the guy that made sure your tax dollars were used for better things than defending unconstitutional legislation” would play well for anyone nowadays.

  7. Ken says

    My point was more about the Democratic leadership in general rather than Senator Leahy in particular. The last Congress was a huge missed opportunity for us, there were 60 Democratic Senators at one point in 2009. It’s unlikely we will ever see that type of majority again. But issues like DOMA and ENDA were ignored and DADT repeal didn’t happen until the lame duck. The whole thing has left me angry and frustrated and not sure that I can trust anything the Democrats say. Sure they are better than the Republicans, but that’s not saying much.

  8. says

    Senator Leahy IS Democratic leadership.

    I understand and share the frustration with the Democrats, who were weak-willed going into the 2010 election, though there were more variables than that which prevented bills coming forward. But the Democratic leadership is miles and miles ahead of the current Republican leadership on gay issues. Not only do most Republicans not want to see gay civil rights progress, they want to turn back the block and put up permanent obstacles to moving forward.

    Senator Leahy’s announcement is good news, small news at this point, but good news nonetheless. Seeing everything in the most negative light is comparable to throwing in the towel and ceding control to the opposition.

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