Senator Dianne Feinstein (D) of California introduced the Respect For Marriage Act into Congress yesterday. The bill seeks to outright repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which the president recently announced is no longer being defended in court by the federal government, a green light for repeal if ever there were one.
To quote Beyonce, “You’re holding up traffic. Green means go!”
On the House side, Reps. Jerry Nadler (D., N.Y.) (pictured) 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.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.). Some 20 other co-signers have signaled their support.
Still, given that Republicans control the House, the bill faces a steep climb.
Said Boehner earlier this month after the White House’s decision not to defend the law: “It is regrettable that the Obama administration has opened this divisive issue at a time when Americans want their leaders to focus on jobs and the challenges facing our economy. The constitutionality of this law should be determined by the courts — not by the president unilaterally — and this action by the House will ensure the matter is addressed in a manner consistent with our constitution.”
Supporters of the repeal effort, however, say the tide of public support is turning in their favor. Slightly more than half of voters oppose DOMA, while only 34 percent support it, according to a poll released on Tuesday by the gay-marriage advocacy group Human Rights Campaign and Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research.
We applaud the Senators and Representatives that are co-sponsoring this important piece of legislation. But to be blunt, if they were so serious about repealing DOMA, why didn’t anyone float this bill last year while the Democrats had majority of the House and the Senate? The bill would have easily been voted into effect with a clear majority. We’re thankful that these politicians have our backs right now, but this political effort rings a bit hollow. This is a classic case of fair weather friendship.
Still, with the HRC’s report that over half of the country is in favor of repealing DOMA, maybe the Republican majority will be forced to vote for what their constituents actually wish? Maybe? Maaaaybe? (Please?)
And hey, just for fun: