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‘Respect For Marriage Act’ To Repeal DOMA Filed in Both The House And Senate

by Jean Ann Esselink on June 27, 2013

in DOMA,Jean Ann Esselink,News

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Just hours after yesterday’s historic Supreme Court rulings, Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) reintroduced in the Senate, the Respect For Marriage Act, (RMA,) which would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA,) and relegate it to history’s (overstuffed) bad-law dumpster. The bill would declare all married couples, in all 50 states, and of any gender composition, equal rights and equal benefits and equal protections, under federal law. Senator Feinstein introduced the same bill in March of 2011. Two years ago, the bill had 17 Senate co-sponsors. This incarnation, it has 40. So far, I could find no Republican senator who has says he will filibuster the bill.

At the same time Senator Feinstein filed the RMA in the Senate, an identical bill was introduced into the House. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, (D-NY) filed the RMA with the support of 160 co-sponsors, including at least 2 Republicans, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Richard Hanna (R-NY). Passage of the RMA through the House is, as usual, made difficult by the Tea Party Caucus who are not yet ready to abandon DOMA. Representatives Michele Bachmann (R-MN)and Louis Gohmert (R-TX) have already taken to the TV cameras to predict the Supreme Court’s decision will lead to the end of the universe as we know it – or words to that effect. Speaker Boehner has so far had no comment.

Whether it was a symbolic move to afford lawmakers a chance to jump on the equality train, or a substantive move that will end with DOMA repealed, I don’t know. Either way, it is a move in the right direction. After the Supreme Court decision, there should be a vote. Every senator and every congressman should be forced to answer this question on the record, for the history books: Are you for equality? Or are you not?

 

Photo from Wiki Commons

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{ 4 comments }

sdfrenchie June 27, 2013 at 8:01 pm

Thank you Senator Feinstein and supporters! If this fails because of the Tea Party nay-sayers, Feinstein can always submit it again once we're rid of the Republicans. I think we will be rid of the Republicans unless they pull their heads out of their asses and learn how to do their jobs.

slowe11 June 28, 2013 at 7:43 am

Someone should explain why these bills are even necessary. If DOMA is unconstitutional, it is gone, isn't it? Why is a congressional bill needed to get rid of it? Is this just grandstanding and posturing or do these bills have real impact?

griffnyc June 28, 2013 at 9:20 am

DOMA was not repealed in it's entirety. My understanding is that the section that was struck down prevented federal recognition and benefits. As it stands now, A couple can be married in one state and the marriage may not be recognized in another because of the remaining aspects of DOMA. Repealing the act will be faster and less expensive than the likely lawsuits that will eventually work their way to the supreme court probably resulting in DOMA being fully struck down.

Ogre June 28, 2013 at 4:12 pm

Given the importance of the decisions reached on Jun 26th, I think that June 26th should become as big a holiday for the LGBT community as any. In fact, I have created a petition at Whitehouse.gov requesting just that. Go! Sign it! Forward this link to your friends, to your enemies, to strangers in the street. We have a month from June 26, 2013 to get 100,000 signatures. Good luck to everyone!

Freedom and Equality Day Petition: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/freedom

Also, go like the Freedom and Equality for All Day Facebook page, I’ll be posting updates there.
https://www.facebook.com/FreedomAndEqualityForAll

#freedomday

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