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04/19/2007


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.


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

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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]

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


Senator Dianne Feinstein: I'll Introduce Legislation to Repeal DOMA

Feinstein Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has issued a statement following news that the Justice Dept. will no longer defend Section 3 of DOMA in court:

"As a Member of the Judiciary Committee, it is my intention to introduce legislation that will once and for all repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. My own belief is that when two people love each other and enter the contract of marriage, the Federal government should honor that. I opposed the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996. It was the wrong law then; it is the wrong law now; and it should be repealed."


Shirley Tan Saved from Deportation by Private Bill

Shirley Tan, who had received a temporary reprieve and was scheduled to be deported and separated from her partner of 23 years, Jay Mercado, and their two children on April 22, was saved at the last minute by a private bill introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein, according to a message sent out by the family's rep. Melanie Nathan:

Shirleytan_2 "A private bill was introduced on the floor today on behalf of Shirley Tan. She will not have to leave the USA until this session of congress ends, and unless UAFA - Uniting American Families Act passes through Congress. A great big thanks from the Tan-Mercado family to Rep. Speier and her amazing staff as well as Sen. Feinstein and her staff, all of whom showed extraordinary care and diligence through the process. A special mention to the organizations that lent their support. Marriage Equality, Immigration Equality, Out4Immigration, Love Exiles and all the Media that remained so patient and supportive. Sen Boxer is sponsoring UAFA and we now hope that Sen. Feinstein will do the same as many many others are in as bad a predicament as  Shirley Tan has been. When I spoke to Jay today she was crying with joy and said the whole family including the boys were absolutely overwhelmed with emotion. The news was conveyed to her directly by Senator Feinstein’s office. It has been a long and arduous process and so a very special thank you goes to Attorney Phyllis Beech, San Francisco and Fresno."

More details on the legislation, which was proposed earlier this month, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Shirley Tan Saved from Deportation by Private Bill" »


News: Daft Punk, Dianne Feinstein, End the Lies, Rihanna, Jacko

 roadSore Loser: Why is John McCain being such a jerk?

Tron  roadHarder, stronger, faster: Daft Punk to score Tron2.

 roadChris Brown to Rihanna: "You just did the stupidest thing ever. I'm going to kill you."

 roadHRC launches EndTheLies website to counter false statements made by anti-gay right wing groups: "As we gear up to fight for passage of our legislative agenda in Congress, EndTheLies.org will feature an “interactive wall” of anti-LGBT crusaders (i.e. the AFA, Sally Kern, and George W. Bush) and will provide ways for visitors to take action against their efforts. Users will also be able to nominate their own candidates for the wall."

 roadPOLL: Dianne Feinstein would be instant front-runner in California gubernatorial race.

Jackson  roadMichael Jackson takes mask off.

 roadSuspects in hate crime attack of 41-year-old man elude Seattle police: "According to police, the victim was assaulted by two men as he walked toward his home from a bar. The victim told police that he didn't get a clear look at the men, but from their voices he believes they were in their late teens or early 20s. He suffered a broken tooth, eye lacerations and injuries to his chin, nose, hands and ribs. According to a police report, the victim was wearing a white sailor suit costume that he had worn earlier in the evening while working at Gay Bingo in downtown Seattle"

 roadTwo men arrested for killing gay man and stabbing his partner on London doorstep.

 roadMan receives community service for punching gay man in face in San Francisco, calling him "stupid faggot": "Under a plea agreement reached in San Francisco Superior Court in January, Andrew Duhamel, 29, will be placed on formal probation for four years. As conditions of probation, in addition to a stay away order from the victim, Jerry Deal, 32, and payment of full restitution to him, Duhamel was ordered to pay $1,000 to Community United Against Violence. He was also ordered to perform 250 hours of community service or serve four months in county jail."

Lohan  roadLindsay Lohan thinks she's like a virgin.

 roadRyan Reynolds, Taylor Kitsch Wolverine promo photos unleashed...

 roadNPR reporter bashes gays over Prop 8 donations: "[These incidents have] given rise to charges that as gay rights advocates tried to change public opinion, some stepped over the line and turned their protest into a witch hunt."

 roadRick Schroeder gets back to nature (nsfw)...

 roadRussian scholar says gays will have hand in U.S. collapse: "[Igor Panarin] also noted he had been predicting the demise of the world's wealthiest country for more than a decade now. But he said the recent economic turmoil in the U.S. and other 'social and cultural phenomena' led him to nail down a specific timeframe for 'The End' - when the United States will break up into six autonomous regions and Alaska will revert to Russian control. Panarin argued that Americans are in moral decline, saying their great psychological stress is evident from school shootings, the size of the prison population and the number of gay men."


Report: Obama, Not Feinstein or Committee, Made Warren Choice

According to Americablog:

Warren_2"A powerful Democratic friend contacted me this morning to let me know that they talked to the key players yesterday, and Diane Feinstein, chair of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, had nothing to do with the pick of Rick Warren as Obama's invocation speaker at the inaugural. The decision was made by Obama himself, I'm told, and Feinstein just assumed that he had vetted it with his staff. Difi went along with Obama's decision, not the other way around. If this is true, then our apologies to Senator Feinstein for suggesting that she was involved. But Jesus. This is rather uncharacteristic of Obama, making some grand gesture from his gut, and not checking it with his brain, or the brains around him. Unless, of course, his brain trust thought this was a brilliant strategic move. I can easily imagine them thinking, what better than to make a nod to the religious right and the religious left, by having Rick Warren and Joseph Lowery, at his inauguration?"

Earlier
Pastor Rick Warren to Give Invocation at Obama Inauguration [tr]
Obama Camp Releases Talking Points on Rick Warren Selection [tr]
Anderson Cooper 360 on the 'Big Tent' Theory and Rick Warren [tr]


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