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DOMA: Senate Judiciary Committee to begin markup of Respect for Marriage Act on Nov. 3rd

DOMA Repeal

By Adam Bink

Sen. Leahy’s staff let us know that the Senate Judiciary Committee will begin markup of the Respect for Marriage Act on Thursday, November 3rd. Voting on amendments and the full bill is likely to be delayed a week, given that the committee Republicans have used a procedure to force a delay on consideration for a week on everything before the committee this year. So it’s likely actual consideration and voting will be on November 10th, but the process itself begins on November 3rd.

It’s unclear what amendments the Republicans will offer to the bill, but we’re preparing for the worst.

As first noted here on back in April, we have the 10 votes in hand we need to pass the bill out of committee (all Democrats). However, whatever happens on amendments could change that calculus.

Stay tuned for coverage.


  • 1. AnonyGrl  |  October 25, 2011 at 10:45 am

    Just so I am understanding… we have the votes (10) to get it out of committee and to a floor vote, but not enought (31 of 60) to get it passed?

    If that is correct, does anybody have a guess as to whether there are any uncommitted votes that are likely to fall in our favor? That is, what is the final vote on the floor likely to be in November?

  • 2. Ann S.  |  October 25, 2011 at 11:14 am


  • 3. Steve  |  October 25, 2011 at 11:34 am

    There is absolutely no chance that this will pass, but it's important to get something official on the record. Especially compared to the extremely ugly, hateful hearings when it was passed in 96

  • 4. Sam_Handwich  |  October 25, 2011 at 11:40 am

    I guess the most obvious place to start are the 65 senate votes to repeal DADT…

    although i realize it's a different issue entirely.

    I plan on hounding Sen Scott Brown's office once the bill takes shape. I think he, along with Snowe and Collins, might be the most pliable republicans.

  • 5. Ronnie  |  October 25, 2011 at 11:53 am

    Subscribing & sharing….

    Report: Up to 2 Million Children with Gay Parents Suffer from Stigma and Biased Laws:

    "A new report on children raised by gay parents is out today from the Family Equality Council, Center for American Progress, the Movement Advancement Project, the National Association of Social Workers and the Child Welfare League of America"

    "Among the barriers and inequities they face, as detailed in the report:

    —Many government safety net programs use definitions of family tied to marital status which may exclude same-sex partners.
    —Because of lack of legal recognition for their unions, gay and lesbian parents can face heavier tax burdens, higher costs for health insurance, and diminished financial protections in the event of death or disability.
    —When same-sex parents separate, one parent may lose custody or visitation rights, even in cases where he or she had been a child's primary caregiver.

    Overshadowing all these problems is pervasive social stigma, according to the report."

    (me) Protect children means ALL children…. Here is the "All Children Matter" PSA from the coalition…. <3…Ronnie:
    [youtube wXFd7qYpRAE youtube]

  • 6. Gregory in SLC  |  October 25, 2011 at 11:54 am

    Perhaps I'm naive but I still have hope it will pass! ….that several persons will engage in the process, like Cuomo did to help get marriage equality for NY.

  • 7. Adam Bink  |  October 25, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    That is correct.

    We should not expect a floor vote in November. This is a committee vote, and barring amendment trouble, we expect it to pass in committee. The benefit of this is that it generates headlines, educates the public, and increase the pressure on folks like Sen. Reed to get with the program. All of this is long-term work, of course.

  • 8. Adam Bink  |  October 25, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    Good for you.

  • 9. mcc  |  October 25, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    This is very neat, even if the bill is not going to pass getting a committee markup and vote is still a big step toward passage in a future congress (assuming the courts let DOMA live that long).

    A question, does anyone know if the ENDA introduced in this Congress is likely to get a markup / committee vote in the Senate before 2013? Aside from being personally important to me, ENDA seems to me to have a somewhat better chance of passing the Senate (it has more cosponsors currently and is slightly less controversial technically; it also, unlike the RFMA, doesn't have a path to being enacted by court order) so it seems surprising that the committees are jumping on the RFMA first (of course I'm sure that the RFMA and ENDA are considered by different committees).

  • 10. Adam Bink  |  October 25, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    I don't know a lot about the prospects of ENDA, but I believe the committee of jurisdiction is HELP.

  • 11. frisky1  |  October 25, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    I haven't dowloaded so can't vouch for whether it works but Seattle Weekly is offering the list of Washington Ref 71 petitions signers here –

  • 12. Gregory in SLC  |  October 25, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    good for "The Daily Weekly" : D !

  • 13. jpmassar  |  October 25, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    I do. 1. Slim. 2. None.

  • 14. Shelly&SimieMarafon  |  October 25, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    so now we goat set here and wait again 4 the bad news right?? and even though we have democrats in on this board the republicans can twist and force the others to change their vote??? That is so way wrong!!!!!

  • 15. Steve  |  October 26, 2011 at 6:05 am

    DADT is somewhat of a unique issue. When it comes to the military, it was possible to sway some more moderate Republicans who see no harm in letting gay people serve openly. But they can still be against same-sex marriage for other reasons.

  • 16. Prop 8 Trial Tracker &raq&hellip  |  November 2, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    […] the markup process beginning tomorrow in the Senate Judiciary Committee (actual voting on the bill is expected to be a week from tomorrow, Nov. 10th), our coalition is continuing pressure on Sen. Casey to help […]

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