Iowa Senator Charles Grassley has
reiterated his support for the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the
1996 law that defines marriage as a heterosexual union for federal
agencies and the military.
Grassley is among the eight Republicans
who sit on the 18-member Senate Judiciary Committee set to begin
debate Thursday on a bill that would repeal the law.
The senator “has been very clear how
he feels about this bill,” Beth Levine, a Grassley spokesperson,
told gay weekly The
Grassley, whose home state of Iowa is
one of six states where gay and lesbian couples can legally marry,
favored the legislation in 1996. And in remarks during a hearing on
repeal, he stated he remains a supporter.
Members of Congress “did not support
DOMA to express disapproval of gay and lesbian people, and neither
did I,” he said in reading from his prepared remarks.
“Marriage is an institution that
serves the same public purpose all over the world: to foster unions
that can result in procreation, creates incentives for husbands and
wives to support each other and their children. It exists more to
benefit children than adults, although many marriages do not involve
children,” Grassley added.
While the bill is expected to clear the
Democrat-controlled panel – perhaps as early as next week – it is
anticipated that it will do so without any Republican support.
So far, the bill has the endorsement of
only one Republican: Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.
marriage foes attack GOPer Ileana Ros-Lehtinen for supporting DOMA