House Dems Working to Repeal Gay-Marriage Law

Bill seeks to repeal DOMA, extend benefits to same-sex couples
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 14, 2009 10:10 AM CDT
Keegan O'Brien of Worcester, Mass., leads chants as members of the LGBT community protest the Defense of Marriage Act outside a Democratic fundraiser Tuesday, June 23, 2009.    (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
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(Newser) – A group of three House Democrats, two of them gay, are slated to unveil a bill this week that would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, the 1996 law that defines marriage as a man-woman union and blocks same-sex couples from getting full benefits, the Hill reports. DOMA has frustrated White House attempts to expand domestic partner benefits for same-sex couples.

When gay leaders blasted President Obama for excluding full domestic partner health benefits from his federal worker benefit package earlier this year, Obama said DOMA made it legally impossible for him "to provide same-sex couples with the full range of benefits enjoyed by heterosexual couples," and reiterated his call for the law's repeal.