California Senator Dianne Feinstein has said she expects a long fight to end the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

DOMA, which was approved in 1996, bars federal agencies and the military from recognizing the legal marriages of gay and lesbian couples.

On Thursday, a bill that would repeal DOMA cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee along a 10-8 party line vote. Republicans on the panel said they supported DOMA because federal recognition of the marriages of gay couples would add to the national debt.

After the vote, Feinstein, the chief sponsor of the bill in the Senate, acknowledged she does not have the votes to approve the bill in the Senate, but added that she's committed to the fight.

“You've got to look at it, I think, in a historic perspective. 15 years ago, DOMA swept through and only 14 of us voted against it. Today, we have 30 co-sponsors alone of a bill to repeal DOMA. That in itself is a giant step forward.” (The video is embedded in the right panel of this page.)

“Virtually any advance in civil rights or any kind of rights has been carried by the Democratic Party. It's just a fact,” she added. “So, we'll just march on. We'll continue this. And if I have to reintroduce it next session, I'll introduce it. Session after that, I'll reintroduce it.”