Senate hearing on DOMA repeal: July 20

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee has set Wednesday, July 20, at 10 a.m. to hear testimony on a bill to repeal the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

The specific bill in question is the “Respect for Marriage Act” (S. 598), introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) for herself and Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). Leahy, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, announced last week he would hold a hearing on the bill –the first Congressional hearing on a proposal to repeal DOMA.

The Respect for Marriage Act would also stipulate that, “for the purposes of any Federal law in which marital status is a factor, an individual shall be considered married if that individual’s marriage is valid in the State where the marriage was entered into….” It also calls for recognition of marriages licensed in other countries.

The bill currently has 27 co-sponsors, including Senators Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), and John Kerry (D-Mass.). No Republicans have yet co-sponsored the bill.

Live webcasts of Senate Judiciary Committee hearings can be viewed at the committee’s website:


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