Gay groups on Thursday cheered Senate
committee passage of a bill that would repeal the Defense of Marriage
DOMA, which was approved in 1996, bars
federal agencies and the military from recognizing the legal
marriages of gay and lesbian couples.
The proposed legislation, sponsored by
California Senator Dianne Feinstein in the Senate, cleared
the Senate Judiciary committee along a party line vote of 10 to 8.
Republicans on the panel said they objected to the measure because
it would increase the national debt.
Cornyn claims Democrats' support for DOMA repeal is pandering.)
“Today's vote represents real
progress toward a repudiation of the radically unfair, misnamed
Defense of Marriage Act,” said Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom
to Marry. “We are one step closer to eliminating DOMA's gay
exception, which unfairly withholds the federal protections and
responsibilities of marriage from loving and committed same-sex
couples who are legally married.”
Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), also applauded the move.
Sarvis' group recently filed a
legal challenge to DOMA as it relates to gay troops.
“At SLDN, we are pleased to see the
Respect for Marriage Act move forward in Congress,” Sarvis said in
a statement. “Repealing the so-called Defense of Marriage Act is a
cornerstone of the work that remains to finish the job of bringing
about full LGBT equality in the military. Whether it's defeated in
the courts or repealed by Congress, SLDN will not rest until this
discriminatory law is history.”
New York Senator Jerrold Nadler, the
sponsor of the measure in the House, also congratulated the bill's
passage in a statement.
“I wholeheartedly commend our allies
in the Senate Judiciary Committee for voting today to repeal DOMA and
send that ugly and discriminatory law into the history books, where
it belongs. I thank Chairman Leahy and Senators Feinstein,
Gillibrand, Schumer and others for their important work in making
history and getting us to this point. Clearly the tide is slowly but
steadily turning toward equality and justice for all Americans.”
applauds senate committee passage of DOMA repeal bill.)