The Senate waded into the emotionally and politically-charged issue of gay marriage Wednesday, with the first-ever hearing on repeal of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
Lawmakers on the Senate Judiciary Committee heard deeply personal testimony from gay and lesbian witnesses, including a widower from Connecticut, about how that federal law has undermined their financial security and eroded their dignity. They also heard from forceful opponents of gay marriage, who said it was an affront to the institution, harmful to children, and a slippery slope toward the sanction of polygamy.
The hearing room was packed with gay rights advocates and same-sex couples, as the committee engaged in a divisive debate over the merits of DOMA and a corresponding push to repeal of that law. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., had introduced the Respect for Marriage Act, which would strip DOMA from the federal books.
Signed by President Bill Clinton in 1996, DOMA defines marriage as between a man and a woman, and it bars federal recognition of same-sex marriage. It also says states can't be forced to recognize a same-sex marriage performed in another state.
Complete article at CT Mirror : http://bit.ly/qrBTxM