DOMA Repeal Legislation to Wait Until Supreme Court Rules

Legislation to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act will not see introduction before the Supreme Court rules this June, the Washington Blade reports:

DumpdomaA number of LGBT advocates familiar with the legislation, which has been known as the Respect for Marriage Act, told the Washington Blade its lead sponsors — Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) in the House and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) in the Senate — are delaying introduction until after the expected court ruling in June.

Fred Sainz, HRC’s vice president of communications, said his organization supports the decision to postpone introduction of the bill until after a decision is reached in the DOMA case, known as Windsor v. United States.

“The lead sponsors of the RMA have decided to wait until after the court rules in Windsor,” Sainz said. “We support that decision and look forward to continuing to work with them to advance this important legislation.”


  1. Jere says

    This seems sensible to me. It doesn’t really make sense to spend time and effort to promote and pass a piece of legislation that may just be made moot next month anyway. The only reason to introduce it at this time would be if the sponsors think there is enough support in both houses to introduce and pass the bill BEFORE the Supreme Court decision comes down in June, essentally making the Court’s ruling moot. If the ruling doesn’t go our way, or doesn’t cover everything it should cover, the bill can be revised to reflect the situation at that time and the fight in Congress can begin.

  2. Chitown Kev says

    Oh, but there’s that pesky Section 2 which is not under the Court’s review at this time.

    But now we know that the United States Senate was gathering all of these endorsements for a DOMA repeal try

    (granted that’s what it sounded like but we couldn’t be too sure).

  3. gayalltheway says

    It is preferable that DOMA is struck down by the SCOTUS rather than being repealed legislatively. When the law is deemed unconstitutional by the court, married same-sex couples could potentially file for tax amendments and get refunds for as far back as 3 years or even more depending on how the administration will deal with this issue.

  4. Jonty Coppersmith says

    Many may disagree with me, but there’s no sense even bothering with this Respect For Marriage bill that has no chance of passing in the House and probably will be filibustered in the Senate. If there were a realistic chance of passage I’d be all for it, but as it stands this would be wasting time.

  5. Glenn says

    I’m sure part of the thinking is that it would not be a good thing right now for the court case if Congress took up DOMA repeal and defeated it. Technically, of course, that shouldn’t matter to the constitutional issue but it could give Kennedy pause if Congress were to effectively say, no we really still mean it.

  6. darkmoonman says

    Yeah, why would the US CONGRESS do something just because it’s the right thing to do. After all, they shot down gun control for no better reason than to spite Obama.

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