Representatives Jerrold Nadler, John Conyers, Barney Frank, Tammy Baldwin, Jared Polis, and David Cicilline will introduce the Respect For Marriage Act this Wednesday to the House of Representatives. The Bill seeks to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act altogether, a butterfly effect which President Obama put into motion by declaring that his administration would no longer defend the controversial law in court as he believes it to be unconstitutional.
Frank, Baldwin, Polis and Cicilline, the four openly gay Reps. in Congress, have already confirmed 105 co-sponsors for the Bill. Companion legislation will be introduced into the Senate by Senators Diane Feinstein, Patrick Leahy and Kirsten Gillibrand shortly.
“The Respect for Marriage Act would repeal DOMA, and comes in response to a call from President Obama for Congressional action on the issue,” reports the news release. “As the President has stated: ‘I stand by my long-standing commitment to work with Congress to repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act. It’s discriminatory, it interferes with states’ rights, and it’s time we overturned it.’ Last week, on the heels of the President’s decision not to defend DOMA in court, House Republican Leadership announced that it will defend DOMA in court, making passage of the Respect for Marriage Act more critical than ever.”
The re-introduction of the bill will be announced at a press conference at 11 a.m. at the Capitol that will feature the lawmakers, marriage equality advocates and two of the lead plaintiffs in twp cases challenges DOMA, Windsor v. United States and Gill et al. v. Office of Personnel Management et al.
105 signatures is a far cry from the majority needed to sign the Bill into law, but it is a fantastic start. Democrats are hopeful that they will be able to sway voters, 45% of whom favor national marriage equality, into pressuring their elected representatives to support the move toward equality. The Republican House won on a party of job-creation, and to say they have failed to meet their campaign promises is putting it lightly.
Will you pledge to call your Representative and ask them to vote for the Respect For Marriage Act?