New York Representative Jerrold Nadler
will reintroduce legislation that would repeal the Defense of
Marriage Act (DOMA) on Wednesday.
Nadler introduced the Respect for
Marriage Act, a bill that would end DOMA, the Clinton-era law that
bans federal agencies from recognizing the legal marriages of gay and
lesbian couples and allows states to ignore such marriages from other
states, in September, 2009. The measure quickly rounded up 100
co-sponsors in its first 30 days and then fizzled without a companion
General Eric Holder's announcement that he and President Barack
Obama believe parts of the law to be unconstitutional have renewed
the effort, Nadler told The Huffington Post.
“The president's move is another step
in the increasing realization that there is no conceivable
justification for DOMA, that it is motivated, was motivated, purely
by irrational considerations and fear and that there is no rational
basis that will stand up to a constitutional challenge,” Nadler
“Hopefully, that will make it
somewhat easier to pass legislation in Congress,” the Democrat
Three Democratic senators, Dianne
Feinstein of California, Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Kirsten
Gillibrand of New York, have signed on to introduce similar
legislation in the Senate.
In 1996, Leahy voted in favor of DOMA.
But in 2009, he told Vermont Public Radio that he had reversed his
position. Feinstein has always opposed the law.