The chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee has set Nov. 3 as the start for debate and a committee vote on legislation to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act.
In a statement Tuesday, the office of Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced the committee “will begin debate on legislation” starting Nov. 3. The Vermont lawmaker previously pledged to hold a panel vote on the bill in November.
The committee begin its executive business meeting at 10 am in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 226.
According to the agenda, the committee also on Nov. 3 is set to vote on the nomination of Michael Walter Fitzgerald, the openly gay judicial nominee whom President Obama nominated in July for a seat on the U.S. District Court in the Central District of California.
The Respect for Marriage Act was introduced in March by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). In addition to support from Feinstein, the bill has 30 co-sponsors in the Senate. Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) is the most recent co-sponsor and signed on in support of the legislation last week.
In July, the Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony from lawmakers, LGBT advocates, conservatives, and individuals in same-sex marriages on the effects that DOMA has on gay couples seeking protections for their families through marriage. The hearing was the first-ever to take place in Congress against DOMA.
The bill should have no trouble moving out of committee. All 10 Democrats on the panel co-sponsor the bill, which should give it enough support to move to the Senate floor.
NOTE: This post has been updated.