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DOMA Repeal Bill Coming Next Week

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The Advocate has learned that Democratic representatives Jerrold Nadler of New York, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, and Jared Polis of Colorado will be introducing legislation to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act next Tuesday. A Democratic aide confirmed that a press conference to announce the bill will be held September 15 at 11 a.m. at the House Triangle.

The source said the bill currently has just over 50 cosponsors, but Congressman Nadler's office has not yet officially circulated a letter to his fellow House members.

Nadler told the Bay Area Reporter in July that the bill would amount to a full repeal of DOMA, including Section 2, which advises states to disregard same-sex marriages that have been legally performed in other states, and Section 3, which prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages.

President Barack Obama supported full repeal of the legislation as a candidate and has reiterated that support in the White House. "I believe it's discriminatory, I think it interferes with states' rights, and we will work with Congress to overturn it," Obama said of the 1996 law during an Oval Office signing ceremony in June.

The Washington Blade is reporting that while Baldwin and Polis are co-sponsor on the bill, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) hasn't signed on in support.

Frank told The Blade that he's not a co-sponsor of the legislation because he has a "strategic difference" with people supporting the repeal legislation.

"It's not anything that's achievable in the near term," he said. "I think getting [the Employment Non-Discrimination Act], a repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' and full domestic partner benefits for federal employees will take up all of what we can do and maybe more in this Congress."

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