A bill which would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) enjoys record support among House members.

DOMA is the 1996 law which forbids federal agencies from recognizing the legal marriages of gay and lesbian couples. Nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized such unions and more states, including Rhode Island, Illinois, California, New Jersey and Delaware, could be on the way.

According to gay weekly the Washington Blade, the number of representatives supporting New York Congressman Jerold Nadler's Respect for Marriage Act has increased from 109 at its introduction last year to 159 as the 112th Congress comes to a close.

Passage in the House requires 218 votes.

Supporters' most recent recruit is Democratic California Rep. Maxine Waters, who signed on as a co-sponsor earlier this month.

“I was very pleased to support the Respect for Marriage Act, critical legislation that would ensure same-sex couples are afforded the same federal benefits as other married couples within the states that recognize their unions,” Waters said in a statement. “Under current law, same-sex married couples are denied important protections such as Social Security survivor benefits, immigrant rights, and family and medical leave.”

On Friday, the Supreme Court is expected to decide whether to hear a constitutional challenge to DOMA.

(Related: Jerrold Nadler pushes for DOMA repeal.)