Friday, July 8, 2011

Leahy Announces Senate DOMA Repeal Hearings, as House Adds DOMA Enforcement to Defense Bill

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT)U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-NY)Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy announced Wednesday that the committee will conduct hearings the Respect For Marriage Act, the legislation that is aimed at repealing the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Leahy did not give a specific date for the hearings, but said through a spokeswoman that they would begin in the coming weeks.

The bill was introduced by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) in March and currently has 25 cosponsors, including Senators Leahy and Gillibrand.

The Advocate reports:
“There are tens of thousands of legally married same-sex couples in the United States, and more than 18,000 in my home state of California alone,” Feinstein said at a March news conference on the bill’s introduction. “These couples live their lives like all married people; they share the bills, they raise children together and they care for each other in good times and bad, in sickness and in health, until death do they part. But because of DOMA, they have been denied federal protections. It is time to right this wrong.”
Sen. Gillibrand said of the Thursday announcement, “If Democrats and Republicans can come together to do what’s right in New York, I know we can do the same in Congress to do what’s right for all of America. Now is the time to act on the federal level.”
Meanwhile, over in the Republican-controlled House, an amendment calling for stronger enforcement of DOMA has been passed as part of the Defense Authorization Bill, which provides annual funding of the U.S. military.

QNotes has the story:

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC)
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A North Carolina congresswoman’s Defense Department budget amendment to restrict extension of  marriage and other relationship recognition benefits to same-sex couples passed the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday.
Republican Rep. Virginia Foxx, who represent’s North Carolina’s Fifth Congressional District, attached her amendment to the Department of Defense’s budget for the 2012 fiscal year. The amendment requires enforcement of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and bans any use of funds for “benefits, such as housing, education, medical services, transportation, etc., for same-sex couples on the same basis as opposite-sex married couples,” according to a fact sheet.
The amendment passed 248-175.
Well, folks, the cards are on the table and the GOP can no longer make the claim that the economy and job creation are their top priorities. They are reverting back to their tried and true, Carl Rove tactics of scapegoating LGBT Americans to rally their bigoted base of born-again throw-backs.

It's on!! 

Is it just me, or does Virginia Foxx look like she's having a stroke in this pic?

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