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Senate May Take Up Repeal of 'Defense of Marriage' Act


Now that President Obama has out and out stated his support for gay marriage, lots of other Democratic officeholders are coming out of the closet as supportive of various planks in the gay rights agenda. The most recent such person to begin batting for that team is Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who announced today that the Senate may take up a bill that would repeal the "Defense of Marriage Act" - one of the landmark pieces of legislation from the Clinton era, and a much loathed one among gay activists.

Politico brings the story:

A day after President Barack Obama endorsed gay marriage, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid suggested Thursday that Democrats may move to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, the Clinton-era law that defined marriage as between a man and a woman.

Such a move would energize the liberal base and provide a contrast to House Republicans, who passed their own measure this week aimed at bolstering DOMA.

But it could also alienate conservative Democrats in the middle of an election year.

In any case, it would have no chance of getting through a divided Congress.

An important note: Reid is a Mormon, and agrees (at least in theory) with presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney that marriage is meant to be between a man and a woman. However, Reid also says in the linked article that if there's a plank in the Democratic platform that supports gay marriage, he'll support that, even though many of the moderates in his own caucus aren't particularly happy with the idea of getting bogged down in this issue.

Given this, you have to wonder - is this pandering to the gay community as wise a political move as Obama (and Reid) really seem to think it is, or will it just show people like Reid up as hypocrites and alienate potential voters?

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