Sen. Dianne Feinstein

The Senate Judiciary Committee today voted 10-8 to approve the Respect for Marriage Act, legislation pushed by supporters of marriage equality that would, in effect, repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. DOMA is the measure passed by Congress and signed into law by then-President Bill Clinton in 1996 that prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages, even those performed in jurisdictions that does give them legal recognition.

Despite that sign of apparent progress, DOMA repeal is still a very long way from reality. According to, the bill’s lead sponsor, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., acknowledged that the votes are not there to get the Respect for Marriage Act passed by the full Senate. And in the House, ruled by Republicans that have insisted on defending DOMA in the courts despite President Barack Obama’s directive to the Justice Department against defending it, the measure likely wouldn’t even get a hearing.

Read more in Friday’s issue of Dallas Voice.