All 15 sitting Senate Democrats who
voted for the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) now oppose the law.
DOMA, the 1996 law which forbids the
federal government from recognizing the legal marriages of gay and
lesbian couples, is in national headlines as the Supreme Court
prepares for next week's oral arguments in a case challenging its
Patty Murray of Washington state is
among those senators who have had a change of heart.
“My state voted, and I voted with
them, to allow marriages between gay and lesbian couples,” Murray
told NPR. “I'm very proud of my state.”
Ohio Senator Rob Portman earlier this
month became the first Republican senator to buck the GOP's official
position on gay marriage. And while Portman may now oppose DOMA as a
matter of principal, he continues to toe the party line in the
respect that he believes “change should come about through the
democratic process in the states.”
“An expansive court ruling would run
the risk of deepening divisions rather than resolving them,”
Portman wrote in an op-ed.
Still, Portman is not among the 10
Republican senators who voted for DOMA and urged the Supreme Court to
uphold the law in an amicus brief.
“Look, both of us believe that we
should not discriminate against anybody,” said Utah Senator Orrin
Hatch, who organized the brief. “But where we do part is that I
believe … in the traditional definition of marriage that has
existed for, some estimate, 6,000 years.”