June 8, 2011
By Adam Bink
Late yesterday, the office of Sen. Bennet (D-CO) called to tell us he would co-sponsor the Respect for Marriage Act, which is Sen. Feinstein’s bill to repeal DOMA. That brings the number of co-sponsors to 26, plus Sen. Klobuchar (who is not a co-sponsor but pledged to support the bill), which makes 27. One by one as we advance towards a hearing promised by Chairman Leahy in the Senate Judiciary Committee later this year. Thanks for doing the right thing, Sen. Bennet.
This may seem like it occurs in a vacuum, but it is critical to show momentum as events occur in Tennessee and Minnesota, and will occur elsewhere. The trendlines may be moving our way in the polls, but support from federal representatives helps to show it is translating into real support. That in turn helps generate more political courage or “cover” at the local level when bills concerning LGBT rights come up. When we get our first Republican on the bill, for example, it will make some headlines and may generate some political will among local representatives.
I’ll have some more thoughts on DOMA, as well as a new tool we can use, up later today.