In reintroducing his bill to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler said it was time to dump the law.

“The time for dumping DOMA is long overdue, and rather than prolonging litigation in the courts, Congress should act to repeal this ugly law,” Nadler said.

Nadler reintroduced the Respect for Marriage Act at a press conference on Wednesday.

The Democrat first proposed his bill in September 2009. The measure, which 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, quickly rounded up over 100 co-sponsors in its first 30 days and then fizzled without a companion Senate bill.

“When Congress passed DOMA in 1996, it was not possible for a gay or lesbian couple to marry anywhere in the world,” Nadler added. “Today, tens of thousands of gay and lesbian couples are married. Far from harming the institution of marriage, these couples have embraced this time-honored tradition and the serious legal duties of civil marriage. The Respect for Marriage Act will send this shameful law into the history books where it belongs.”

The House's four openly gay members – Representatives Barney Frank of Massachusetts, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Jared Polis of Colorado and David Cicilline of Rhode Island – also spoke at the event.

“Years of experience with same-sex marriage in several states has conclusively refuted the arguments of DOMA that were never valid in the first place,” said Frank. “It stands now only as a symbol of bigotry and should be repealed.”

The new push to end the law was spurred in part by Attorney General Eric Holder's announcement that he and President Barack Obama believe parts of the law to be unconstitutional, Nadler told The Huffington Post.

“The administration's decision not to defend DOMA intensifies the urgent need to repeal this discriminatory law,” said Baldwin. “Anything less than full equality is most likely unconstitutional, and most certainly un-American.”

“Discrimination of any kind against a person based on their sexual orientation is just wrong and it should be prohibited by law,” said Cicilline in adding his support for the effort.

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. Their announcement is expected later today.

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.

Republican House Speaker John Boehner will defend the law, now that Obama will not.

A poll released on Tuesday shows a majority of Americans oppose DOMA.