In a huge turning point in the fight for gay rights, on Wednesday Democrats introduced bills in both houses of Congress to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, the 1996 law that bans the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages.
At separate press conferences on Wednesday, House and Senate Democrats introduced their versions of the Respect for Marriage Act. In the Senate, the bill was introduced by Senators Patrick Leahy, Dianne Feinstein, and Kirsten Gillibrand, with about 20 cosponsors. The House repeal effort is led by Representatives Jerry Nadler and John Conyers, along with the four openly gay members of Congress, Representatives Tammy Baldwin, David Cicilline, Barney Frank, and Jared Polis, and 100 cosponsors, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The repeal bill comes after the White House announced last month that it will stop fighting to defend DOMA in court. A White House spokesman responded to the bills, saying: