House and Senate Dems to introduce ‘Respect for Marriage Act’ repealing DOMA

From Raw Story:

By Sahil Kapur
Monday, March 14th, 2011

WASHINGTON – A coalition of House and Senate Democrats will soon introduce legislation designed to roll back the “Defense of Marriage Act” that outlaws same sex marriage. Though unlikely to pass the GOP-controlled House, the measure would highlight the political distance between Democrats and Republicans on this divisive issue.

The “Respect for Marriage Act” will be introduced in the House Wednesday by Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers (D-MI) and Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Barney Frank (D-MA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Jared Polis (D-CO), David Cicilline (D-RI) and 105 co-sponsors.

The “key civil rights legislation,” as the Democrats called it in an advisory, would “repeal DOMA in its entirety.” Fretting that the 1996 law “singles out legally married gay and lesbian couples for discriminatory treatment under federal law,” they plan to announce its introduction Wednesday at a press conference, alongside LGBT-rights advocates and two of the lead plaintiffs in challenges to the law.

A companion bill is expected to be introduced in the upper chamber by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).

Even same sex marriage advocates privately concede that the measure won’t pass Congress, but they’re hopeful it will highlight the significant shift in public opinion for the issue and put Republicans on the defensive.

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