WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to move forward a bill that would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act.
The committee voted 10-8 along party lines in favor of the Respect for Marriage Act. Its prospects on the Senate floor remain unknown, however. Introduced in the Senate in March by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the bill currently has 30 cosponsors.
The Senate Judiciary Committee's Nov. 10 meeting
In opening remarks, Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said that as a result of DOMA, "thousands of American families are now being treated unfairly by the federal government. They are shunted aside — singled out from all other marriages recognized by the states."
But Republican senators including Ranking Member Chuck Grassley of Iowa criticized the intent of the legislation. Grassley used common arguments against marriage rights for same-sex couples including concerns about child welfare — rhetoric discordant with the body of social science research.
As expected, there was no GOP support for the bill among committee members. Grassley said it was unlikely that the full senate has sufficient time to vote on the bill and doubted adequate support for the bill exists. Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) concurred, and asserted in remarks that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has no intention of bringing the legislation to the floor in the current session.Click on the header for the full story...