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Senate Holds Hearing On Bill Aimed at Repealing DOMA

The Senate Judiciary Committee began consideration today of the Respect for Marriage Act, legislation introduced earlier this year that would repeal the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

According to pro-homosexual website, MetroWeekly, Committee Chairman Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT) opened the hearing by saying "What would change, and what must change, is the federal government's unequal treatment of state-approved marriages."

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the lead sponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act, said at the hearing that she "voted against [DOMA] for the same reason then, that I [support] repeal now."

Procedural rules allow the Republican minority to hold up the mark-up of the bill, at which time amendments can be offered and a vote would be postponed for a week. Leahy promises that it "will be" considered at that time.

Even if it does manage to pass the committee, it is highly unlikely that it will get much further as not a single Republican in the House is supporting it.

However, marriage advocates say the public needs to voice their opposition to the Respect for Marriage Act anyway. 

Robert P. George, law professor at Princeton University says the bill is "a public relations move" designed to create the appearance that those seeking to redefine marriage have momentum on the issue and that the definition of marriage will inevitably be changed. 

The consequences of the repeal of DOMA are too great to understate, he says, and would lead to the further erosion of religious liberty in American and a continued effort to legalize multiple-partner relationships.

"Marriage is critically important because the marriage-based family is the original and best Department of Health, Education and Welfare," George told the Catholic News Agency.

George has "no doubt" that repealing DOMA will lead to further erosion of religious liberty and freedom of conscious for people of faith because this is already happening throughout the U.S.  He cited multiple cases of employees whose jobs are being threatened because of they hold biblical beliefs on sexual morality.

He also warned that the movement to redefine marriage won't stop with same-sex marriage and referred to a statement issued by gay activists entitled "Beyond Same-Sex Marriage." This document advocates for government and private institutional recognition of different sexual arrangements, including "households in which there is more than one conjugal partner."

"These are not fringe figures," he said, and warned that multiple partners and other "nontraditional" arrangements is a goal that is shared by many mainstream homosexual advocates.

Concerned citizens are being urged to contact their representatives to urge them to support traditional marriage.

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