10.14.11

Leahy Announces Plans To Schedule Committee Consideration Of DOMA Repeal Bill

WASHINGTON (Oct. 14, 2011) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Friday that he intends to schedule Committee consideration of the Respect for Marriage Act, a bill that would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), in November.

“The march for equality continues, and now is the time to ensure equality for gay and lesbian Americans who are lawfully married,” said Leahy, who is a cosponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act.  “Next month, I will call up the Respect for Marriage Act for debate and a vote in the Judiciary Committee.  The Respect for Marriage Act would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which prevents thousands of American families from being protected by laws that help secure other American families.  This is part of the nation’s continuing fight for civil rights for all Americans.”

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 Respect for Marriage Act was introduced in March. The Senate bill (S.598) is sponsored 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.

The Senate Judiciary Committee holds regular business meetings to consider pending legislation and nominations. Leahy intends to list the Respect for Marriage Act for consideration during a business meeting in November.

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