Leahy Announces DOMA Repeal Debate To Begin In Senate Judiciary Committee On Nov. 3

WASHINGTON (Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2011) – The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee will begin debate on legislation to repeal the Defense of Marriage (DOMA) on November 3, Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Tuesday.  Leahy announced earlier this month his intention to schedule Committee consideration of the Respect for Marriage Act, a bill that would repeal DOMA. 

Leahy announced the agenda Tuesday for the Committee’s November 3 executive business meeting.  The agenda includes a number of items held over from the panel’s last meeting, as well as the addition of the Respect for Marriage Act.  The business meeting will be webcast live online.

The Respect for Marriage Act was introduced in March. The Senate bill (S.598) was introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), and is cosponsored by 29 other Senators.  All 10 Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee support the legislation.  A House companion bill (H.R.1116) has bipartisan support, including 129 sponsors.

In July, Leahy chaired the first-ever congressional hearing on proposals to repeal DOMA.  The Obama administration has announced the President’s support for the Respect for Marriage Act.

The Judiciary Committee holds regular business meetings when the Senate is in session to consider pending legislation and nominations.  Information is available on the Committee’s website about the Committee’s rules and procedures, including rules regarding executive business meetings.

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