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
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
Nadler pushes for DOMA repeal.)