A year after its introduction into Congress a bill that would repeal the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act is still gaining sponsors, with three names adding their support this week.
Representatives Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Hansen Clarke (D-MI) and Steve Cohen (D-TN) added their names to the list of those who support repealing the embattled DOMA, bringing the total number of cosponsors in the House to 140, compared to the 108 House cosponsors the bill had at this time last year. There are also currently 31 sponsors for the measure in the Senate.
Congressman Jerry Nadler (D-NY), the lead sponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act in the House, issued the following statement regarding the legislation and its continued momentum:
“A year after introducing this historic legislation, our movement to repeal DOMA and bring federal law into the 21st century has made unprecedented strides. We have seen the Senate introduce its counterpart bill, hold the first ever hearing on the legislation, and pass it out of the Senate Judiciary Committee. President Obama has now endorsed our bill, the federal courts are hearing major cases challenging DOMA, and two federal courts already have declared it unconstitutional. Meanwhile, eight states and the District of Columbia have embraced marriage equality. Every day, we are closer to sending this shameful law into the history books and ensuring that all married couples have the support and respect from their government that their families deserve.”
Marriage equality group Freedom to Marry’s Federal Director Jo Deutsch also commented, saying:
“One year after the introduction of the Respect for Marriage Act, we have seen enormous momentum for ending the ‘gay exception’ created by DOMA, which treats America’s legally married same-sex couples — including servicemembers risking their lives for our safety — as strangers under federal law. Representatives Bonamici, Clarke, and Cohen are joining with their House and Senate colleagues to end government discrimination against loving and committed gay and lesbian couples. As we work to win more freedom to marry victories in states across the country, Freedom to Marry will also keep making the case on the Hill to overturn DOMA and ensure that lawful marriages celebrated in the states are once again respected by the federal government.”
While the current Republican leadership is in charge of the U.S. House a full vote on a DOMA repeal seems out of the question.
However, every name that is added in support of this bill should serve as a commitment for future support when the legislation has an improved chance at passing,whether that be under a more open Republican House leadership, or a return to a Democratic leadership that supports the bill.