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Now just one vote shy of DOMA repeal in the Senate Judiciary Committee

DOMA Repeal

By Adam Bink

A few days ago, following when I did a whip count of support for DOMA repeal, I was quoted in a Minnesota Independent piece regarding a post I wrote here titled “We are two votes shy of repealing DOMA in the Senate Judiciary Committee”. Here’s the Minnesota Independent excerpt (bolding mine):

Klobuchar missing from DOMA repeal bill

Bill needs only two votes to pass out of committee

Sen. Amy Klobuchar is one of only two Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee who have not signed on to a bill to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, and that committee is only two votes away from passing the bill out of committee. Klobuchar and Wisconsin Sen. Herb Kohl are seen as the two key votes on the committee and both have said they haven’t decided which way they will vote when the bill is taken up in the coming weeks.

The bill would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, a 1995 bill signed by President Clinton which bans the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages. In February, President Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder evaluated the law, found it likely to be unconstitutional and decided not to defend the law in court challenges. And last Wednesday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California introduced a bill to repeal the law.

Minnesota’s Sen. Al Franken, who also sits on the 18-member judiciary committee, is a sponsor of the bill. In order to pass the committee, the bill needs 10 votes, and eight senators on that committee are already sponsors. Eight other members of the committee are Republicans not likely to vote for the bill. That leaves two votes unaccounted for, those of Klobuchar and Kohl.

The Courage Campaign, a proponent of the bill, contacted Klobuchar and Kohl late last week.

“I just got off the phone with the offices of Democratic Sens. Kohl (D-WI) and Klobuchar (D-MN), who are not co-sponsors and told me they have not yet taken a position on the bill itself yet,” wrote Adam Bink, director of online programs for the Courage Campaign. “To my knowledge, no Republicans on the committee have taken a position on this bill, either. So we are two [votes] shy.”

OutFront Minnesota, the state’s largest LGBT advocacy group, responded to the news in a Facebook posting: “Who knew Amy Klobuchar hasn’t taken a position on the repeal of DOMA? It’ll probably come as a surprise to thousands of voters (and donors).”

We’re still waiting for confirmation, but today Andy Birkey, the original author of the piece above, posted an update (bolding mine):

Klobuchar to vote for DOMA repeal

By Andy Birkey | 03.24.11 | 11:12 am

Sen. Amy Klobuchar will support a bill that would repeal the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) when it comes up for a vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee on which Klobuchar serves, state Sen. Scott Dibble has indicated. DOMA currently prevents same-sex couples legally married in five states, Washington, D.C., and one tribal nation from receiving the federal benefits of marriage. President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder decided in February to halt defense of DOMA citing its probable unconstitutionality.

Last week, the Courage Campaign noted that Klobuchar was one of two Democratic senators who hadn’t signed on to the DOMA repeal bill (the other is Wisconsin’s Herb Kohl) and that her office stated that she had not taken a position on the bill. That prompted OutFront Minnesota, the state’s largest LGBT advocacy group, to initiate a campaign urging constituents to call on her to support the repeal.

On Tuesday, state Sen. Dibble of Minneapolis noted that he spoke with Klobuchar’s staff, who indicated she would vote for the measure.

“I have spoken directly with Amy Klobuchar’s State Director,” Dibble wrote on Facebook. “Senator Klobuchar will be voting for the repeal of DOMA in the Senate Judiciary Committee.”

Klobuchar’s press office has not responded to the Minnesota Independent’s request for confirmation.

Success! Now, I’d like to see Sen. Klobuchar join as a co-sponsor, and let’s see what we can do about Sen. Herb Kohl.

If her position is confirmed, this puts us just one vote shy of passage.

If you haven’t done so yet, join our campaign to repeal DOMA, now over 50,000 people and counting.


  • 1. Kathleen  |  March 24, 2011 at 7:11 am

  • 2. JonT  |  March 24, 2011 at 3:56 pm

  • 3. Rhie  |  March 24, 2011 at 7:14 am

    Nailbiting time!

  • 4. Peterplumber  |  March 24, 2011 at 7:28 am

    My parents live in Wisconsin. I am going to write to Kohl using thier address.

  • 5. Ed Cortes  |  March 24, 2011 at 7:39 am


  • 6. Rev. Will Fisher  |  March 24, 2011 at 7:43 am

    Which tribal nation? Curious.

  • 7. Kathleen  |  March 24, 2011 at 8:02 am

    Coquille tribe:

  • 8. allen  |  March 24, 2011 at 8:17 am

    Kathleen beat me to it! I like Kathleen's link better anyway. They look so happy!

  • 9. Rev. Will Fisher  |  March 24, 2011 at 10:18 am

    Thanks. I learn something new every day. Btw, everyone's fav troll kgrube Commented on the Oregon live website.

  • 10. Kathleen  |  March 24, 2011 at 10:27 am

    I really wish I better understood what drives someone to devote so much time and energy to fight against other peoples' rights – rights that don't impact their own life at all except to make the world a more fair and just place place in which to live. I know that for some people the explanation is that they make their living as a professional bigot, but that doesn't seem to be the case with Ms. Grube.

  • 11. JonT  |  March 24, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    You and me both Kathleen.

    I've never understood that.

  • 12. Sheryl Carver  |  March 25, 2011 at 1:35 am


    There are probably many possible reasons the Karen Grubes do what they do. The BBs & the MGs do seem to be in it for the money & public notice. Maybe publicity, however minor, is part of what drives the KGs, but it seems more likely that they are driven by religious right brainwashing, probably as children, &/or some form of mental illness.

  • 13. fiona64  |  March 25, 2011 at 7:15 am

    I think she's mad because someone dropped a house on her sister.


  • 14. allen  |  March 24, 2011 at 8:04 am

    Coquille Indian Tribe in Oregon

    From Wikipedia:

  • 15. Sagesse  |  March 24, 2011 at 7:43 am

    One step at a time.

  • 16. DazedWheels  |  March 24, 2011 at 7:48 am

    Subscribing, and keeping my fingers crossed.

  • 17. Straight Ally #3008  |  March 24, 2011 at 8:44 am

    History. Be on the right side of it.

  • 18. Mackenzie  |  March 24, 2011 at 8:55 am

    Time to email the heck out of Kohl!

    Also I wrote to my Representative about a week and a half ago, and got a speedy response back. My Rep is conservative and sadly supports DOMA. In his response though it was based on two arguments. First he claimed that since 1996 there have been no federal court rulings saying DOMA was unconstitutional. I was baffled. How about Gill v Office of Personal Management or Mass v US dept of H&HS? Seriously this guy had no idea that he was supporting something a District Judge ruled unconstitutional last year! Second he argued that Pres Obama was wrong for no longer defending and enforcing DOMA. Again he was relaying false information. The Pres is still enforcing DOMA, and no where in the Constitution does it require the Pres to defend Congressional laws in court.

    It led me to wonder how many other US Reps were as clueless or flat out wrong about the facts on DOMA. When you send them examples of ways DOMA hurts people they try to defend their position with the aforementioned nonsense. I am getting ready to respond to his bogus arguments. We have to get up and mail our Reps. Many do not focus on this issue and do not realize how wrong they are.

  • 19. Ray in MA  |  March 24, 2011 at 9:19 am

    I'm excited about this… but I don't want to be… too good to be true… Once bitten, twice shy.

  • 20. Mackenzie  |  March 24, 2011 at 9:31 am

    hey I mean we got DADT to go. I doubt this will make it out of the Senate, but to bring to the floor would be amazing!

  • 21. Paul in Minneapolis  |  March 24, 2011 at 10:39 am

    Yay Amy!!! I knew she'd do the right thing!

  • 22. Kathleen  |  March 24, 2011 at 11:28 am

    If you're in the DC area:
    Equality Matters LGBT Community Speaker Series: Dustin Lance Black, March 29, 2011

    A benefit for AFER

  • 23. Sagesse  |  March 24, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    Bachmann praises ouster of Iowa judges in gay marriage ruling

    Tea Party Barbie.

  • 24. Sagesse  |  March 24, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    Gay marriage critics ‘vilified’: Vatican diplomat

    Lest we forget the Catholic Church has a delegate to the UN.

  • 25. Mark M (Seattle)  |  March 25, 2011 at 1:32 am

    How dare he equate my physical expression of love for my partner to that of paedophilia and incest. This is NO man of God!
    He and his church have every right to believe what they wish….but they do NOT have the right to dictate how others live their lives based solely on religious beliefs.
    This makes the Catholic church no better than the fundamentalist Muslin Imoms
    We live in a Democratic republic NOT a Theocracy

  • 26. Richard A. Jernigan  |  March 24, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    We are actively in the campaign for DOMA's repeal.

  • 27. Sagesse  |  March 24, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    Fred Karger Makes It Official: First Openly Gay Presidential Candidate…

  • 28. Straight Ally #3008  |  March 24, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    I would love to see him in a debate with folks like Huckabee, Santorum, Pawlenty, Bachmann, and Palin! Sometimes there is victory in the attempt.

  • 29. Sagesse  |  March 24, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    HRC PAC Honors Susan Collins

  • 30. Sagesse  |  March 24, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    In Gregory's neighbourhood.

    Gay Man to Run for Utah Democratic Chair

  • 31. Sagesse  |  March 24, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    More detail than I've seen elsewhere.

    White House pushes to end persecution of LGBT people worldwide

  • 32. Ronnie  |  March 25, 2011 at 3:09 am


  • 33. And then there was one | &hellip  |  March 25, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    […] all Democrats on the Judiciary Committee, where the bill get started, signed on to the effort except two – Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar and Wisconsin Senator Herb […]

  • 34. Wisconsin Courage Campaig&hellip  |  April 12, 2011 at 10:32 am

    […] votes are required to pass legislation from the Senate Judiciary Committee. With Sen. Klobuchar now onboard with the bill and 8 other Democrats on the committee who are co-sponsors of the bill, Sen. […]

  • 35. VICTORY: Sen. Kohl agrees&hellip  |  April 19, 2011 at 10:38 am

    […] overall. Since then we targeted and picked up Sen. Klobuchar (D-MN), the story of which I detailed here.  We then moved onto Sen. Kohl and asked our members to tell him to support DOMA repeal, and why […]

  • 36. Prop 8 Trial Tracker &raq&hellip  |  June 8, 2011 at 10:05 am

    […] Campaign’s DOMA Repeal campaign with Sen. Feinstein. These folks successfully brought Sens. Klobuchar, Kohl and Tom Udall onboard through public efforts, and continue to be active in other states […]

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