US: Democrats launch new push to finally repeal DOMA

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Democrats in the US Congress have launched a renewed push to repeal the remainder of the defunct anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act.

The law, which was signed by Bill Clinton in 1996, banned the federal recognition of same-sex unions until 2013, when its key components were ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

However, the bill still remains on the books – and Democrats have brought forward plans to axe the anti-gay law entirely, as part of a ‘Respect for Marriage Act‘ that would enshrine the rights of same-sex couples no matter which state they lived in.

New York congressman Jerrold Nadler – the bill’s sponsor in House of Representatives – told Huffington Post: “We must finish the job begun by the Supreme Court by passing the Respect for Marriage Act.

“The bill provides a uniform rule for recognizing couples under federal law, ensuring that lawfully married couples will be recognized under federal law no matter where they live and guaranteeing that all families can plan for a future of mutual obligation and support with confidence.”

California senator Dianne Feinstein added: “Only when this bill is passed will we be able to guarantee the federal rights, benefits and responsibilities of marriage for all loving couples.

“I call on my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this bill.”

The bill has 79 in cosponsors the House of Representatives and 42 cosponsors in the Senate, including Minority Leader Harry Reid, but the Republican party does not support the measure.

Just one lone Republican – Florida congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who became a strong LGBT rights activist when her son came out as transgender.