At least five federal judges have declared the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. The President, who is the titular head of the Democratic Party, along with most of the Democratic leadership of Congress, support DOMA repeal. Democrats themselves support marriage equality overwhelmingly -- 70% in favor in the latest CNN poll -- and likely support the repeal of DOMA by an even larger margin. (In fact the majority of American voters no longer support the law.)
And yet legislation that would repeal DOMA, the Respect for Marriage Act (S.598), does not have the support of twenty of fifty-three Democratic Senators (nor of a single Republican Senator). Some forty Democratic Representatives have not signed on to the House version (HR.1116) either (kudos to the lone Republican Representative, Ileana Ros-Lentinen, who has done so), but in percentage terms half as many Democratic Representatives are not co-sponsors as Democratic Senators.
Do you have a Democratic Senator who is not a cosponsor of S.598 -- a Senator who is not willing to stand in support of repealing DOMA?
Democratic Senators Not Co-Sponsoring DOMA Repeal
|Stabenow (MI)||Landrieu (LA)||Tester (MT)||Baucus (MT)|
|Nelson (NE)||Hagan (NC)||Conrad (ND)||Casey (PA)|
|Johnson (SD)||Webb (VA)||Warner (VA)||Reid (NV)|
|Lieberman (CT)||Begich (AK)||Manchin (WV)||Rockefeller (WV)|
|McCaskill (MO)||Pryor (AR)||Carper (DE)||Nelson (FL)|
Montana Democrats have endorsed same-sex marriage. But neither Senator Baucus nor Senator Tester have yet stood behind repealing DOMA. Senator Baucus has released a statement saying
I don't believe the federal government should be getting involved in people's private lives. Adults should be free to choose who they spend their lives with a committed relationship.That sounds like support for repealing at least the part of DOMA that forbids the Federal Government from recognizing same-sex marriages. He also recently tweeted
Max Baucus @MaxBaucusWill he follow through and co-sponser DOMA repeal?
Very proud of @MtDems' vocal support for #marriageequality over the weekend http://ow.ly/...
The Democratic Party in Pennslyvania has also just endorsed marriage equality with an overwhelming voice vote. But Senator Casey remains silent.
63% of Michigan Democrats think same-sex marriage should be legal. And while Senator Levin is a co-sponsor of DOMA repeal, Senator Stabenow is not.
To be fair, in a state where only 19% of voters support legalizing same-sex marriage, one cannot be too critical of Senators Manchin or Rockefeller. It would be a principled move for them to endorse equality for all, but it is the rare Senator that takes such action with a polling deficit of that sort.
DOMA may die at the hands of the Supreme Court relatively soon. Or it may not. One way or another it would be both fitting and proper for there to be the majority support in Congress for its repeal -- especially if Democrats can retake the House and hold on to the Senate -- even if repeal is doomed to wither on the filibuster vine.
Or perhaps, as with Don't Ask, Don't Tell, enough Republicans could be convinced that the time had come to replace bigotry with equality, the Congress might catch up with the American people and repeal this odious piece of legislation.
If your Senator is on the above list, let him or her know DOMA's time has passed.