Illinois Senator Dick Durbin on
Thursday dismissed Texas Senator John Cornyn's assertions that
repealing the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was a political calculation
During a Senate
committee hearing on repeal of the Defense of Marriage (DOMA),
Cornyn noted his opposition to eliminating the 1996 law that bars
federal agencies and the military from recognizing the legal
marriages of gay and lesbian couples by stating repeal would increase
the national debt. He also questioned the motivations of Democrats,
who stood united to pass the bill out of committee.
“I stand with the vast majority of
the American people on the subject of traditional marriage. And
there was a time when so did most of the members of the Democratic
Party,” Cornyn told his colleagues.
“I think the reversal we're seeing on
the Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law not a state law, is just
another sign of how out of touch that some of our friends across the
aisle have been with the American people on this issue. And I think
unfortunately, and it saddens me to say this knowing that this bill
will never become law in this Congress, I think it's a transparent
appeal to a special interest group that our Democratic friends
believe is a key to their electoral victory in 2012,” he added.
Durbin, who followed Cornyn, denied the
“It isn't because I'm counting up
votes. It isn't because I'm counting up donations that might come my
way. It's because I believe as a matter of principle that this is
the right thing to do. I don't care if it wins me votes or loses me
votes. I think we ought to be motivated here by something other than
the political calculation on issues of this gravity,” Durbin said.
“If it's a political calculation
about how much freedom we can afford, we can afford to be a free
nation whatever the cost may be,” he added.