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Senate to hear testimony on DOMA ‘in the next few weeks’

Leahy plans hearing on anti-gay law

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Sen. Patrick Leahy plans to hold a hearing on DOMA (Blade file photo by Michael Key). A Senate committee is set in the next few weeks to hear testimony on repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, although details about the planned hearing were scant as of Thursday.

A Senate committee is set in the next few weeks to hear testimony on repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, although details about the planned hearing were scant as of Thursday.

According to a Senate Democratic aide, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, intends to hold a hearing on DOMA repeal “in the next few weeks.” A more definitive date for when the hearing would take place or the individuals who would be invited as witnesses weren’t immediate known.

In a statement, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) praised Leahy for his decision to hold a hearing on DOMA repeal. Both Gillibrand and Leahy are sponsors of the Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal DOMA.

“Marriage is the true foundation for strong families,” she said. “Every loving, committed couple deserves the basic human right to get married, start a family, and have access to all the same rights and privileges that my husband and I enjoy. No politician should stand in the way of this fact.”

She continued, “If Democrats and Republicans can come together to do what’s right in New York, I know we can do the same in Congress to do what’s right for all of America. Now is the time to act on the federal level.”

The testimony would which would be the first-ever hearing against DOMA in Congress.

NOTE: This post has been updated.

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Alex

    July 8, 2011 at 11:20 am

    YES!! Finally there is some backbone. Do not let these political, out of date, out of touch individuals dictate what is a basic right we should be given as citizens of this great country. I am just amazed that these individuals as so small minded. We should take away their right to divorce and see how they react. They say gay marriage would ruin the basic foundation of the family. Well, I have a few choice words for that, but I am a courteous, respectful person that would never stoop so low. Just remember one day you are going to have children, grandchildren, a brother, sister, a friend and so on that is going to want marriage with their life partner and then what are you going to say? Especially, if they are dear to your heart as any of the above mentioned would be in your life. It is time to take your heads out of the sand and join the 21st Century and realize that we are all created equally and not just what you consider is equality.

  2. Alyson Wagner

    July 10, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    http://www.change.org/petitions/repeal-doma-now-support-the-respect-for-marriage-act#signatures

    Join me in telling our lawmakers that enough is enough. The time to repeal DOMA is now. The volume of our voices has been underestimated for far too long. We are not second class citizens!

  3. Little man

    April 19, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    Having a hearing is good, so the real arguments are put forth in committee, and so it becomes a done deal. But look at the bad logic in the following quote in this article:
    ‘Marriage is the true foundation for strong families,’ she said. ‘Every loving, committed couple deserves the basic human right to get married, start a family, and have access to all the same rights and privileges that my husband and I enjoy…’
    Yes, then can get married, already (to an adult of the opposite sex). First, it talks about a basic human right. But then it goes on to legislate access to that same right. We all already enjoy equal rights under the law. Then, the first comment brings out the topic of divorce. If so many people divorce, how is it that ‘marriage’ is the true foundation of strong families.. It obviously isn’t, is it?

  4. Little man

    April 19, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    Having a hearing is good, so the real arguments are put forth in committee, and so it becomes a done deal. But look at the bad logic in the following quote in this article:
    ‘Marriage is the true foundation for strong families,’ she said. ‘Every loving, committed couple deserves the basic human right to get married, start a family, and have access to all the same rights and privileges that my husband and I enjoy…’ Yes, then can get married, already (to an adult of the opposite sex). First, it talks about a basic human right. But then it goes on to legislate access to that same right. We all already enjoy equal rights under the law. Then, the first comment brings out the topic of divorce. If so many people divorce, how is it that ‘marriage’ is the true foundation of strong families.. It obviously isn’t, is it?

  5. Little man

    April 19, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    Having a hearing is good, so the real arguments are put forth in committee, and so it becomes a done deal. But look at the bad logic in the following quote in this article:
    -Marriage is the true foundation for strong families,- she said. -Every loving, committed couple deserves the basic human right to get married, start a family, and have access to all the same rights and privileges that my husband and I enjoy…- Yes, then can get married, already (to an adult of the opposite sex). First, it talks about a basic human right. But then it goes on to legislate access to that same right. We all already enjoy equal rights under the law. Then, the first comment brings out the topic of divorce. If so many people divorce, how is it that -marriage- is the true foundation of strong families.. It obviously isn’t, is it?

  6. Little man

    April 19, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    Having a hearing is good, so the real arguments are put forth in committee, and so it becomes a done deal. But look at the bad logic in the following quote in this article:
    -Marriage is the true foundation for strong families,- she said. -Every loving, committed couple deserves the basic human right to get married, start a family, and have access to all the same rights and privileges that my husband and I enjoy…- Yes, they can get married, already (to an adult of the opposite sex) – that’s why marriage became regulated in the first place. First, it talks about a basic human right. But then it goes on to legislate access to that same right. Which is it? A basic human right or a given right? We all already enjoy equal rights under the law. Then, the first comment brings out the topic of divorce. If so many people divorce, how is it that -marriage- is the true foundation of strong families.. It obviously isn’t, is it?

  7. Little man

    April 19, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    Yes, they (individuals) can get married, already (to an adult of the opposite sex) – that’s why marriage became regulated in the first place. First, it talks about a basic human right. But then it goes on to legislate access to that same right. Which is it? A basic human right or a given right? We all already enjoy equal rights under the law. Then, the first comment brings out the topic of divorce. If so many people divorce, how is it that -marriage- is the true foundation of strong families.. It obviously isn’t, is it?

  8. Little man

    April 19, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    Yes, they (individuals) can get married, already (to an adult of the opposite sex)

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Politics

Victory Fund honors Maine House speaker at D.C. conference

Ryan Fecteau is gay Catholic University alum

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Maine House Speaker Ryan Fecteau accepts the Tammy Baldwin Breakthrough Award at the Victory Fund International LGBTQ Leaders Conference in D.C. on Dec. 4, 2021. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

The Victory Fund on Saturday honored Maine House Speaker Ryan Fecteau on the last day of its International LGBTQ Leaders Conference in D.C.

Fecteau — an openly gay Catholic University of America alum — won a seat in the Maine House of Representatives in 2014. He became the chamber’s speaker in 2018.

“Hate and intolerance will not derail us,” said Fecteau after Florida state Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith presented him with the Tammy Baldwin Breakthrough Award, which is named after U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.). “Our community will not be intimidated.”

The Victory Fund on Friday honored Guatemalan Congressman Aldo Dávila, a gay man who is living with HIV.

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Politics

Rachel Levine: Efforts to deny health care to trans youth are ‘politics’

Former Pa. health secretary opened Victory Fund conference

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Assistant Health Secretary Rachel Levine speaks at the Victory Fund's 2021 International LGBTQ Leaders Conference in D.C. on Dec. 2, 2021. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Assistant Health Secretary Rachel Levine on Thursday criticized efforts to prevent transgender youth from accessing health care.

“Unfortunately, some have fought to prevent transgender youth from accessing the health care that they need,” she said in a speech she delivered at the opening of the Victory Fund’s 2021 International LGBTQ Leaders Conference that took place in-person at the JW Marriott in downtown D.C. “This is politics and this politics has no place in health care and public health and they defy the established standards of care written by medical experts.”

Levine was Pennsylvania’s Health Secretary until President Biden nominated her to become assistant secretary of health.

She became the first openly trans person confirmed by the U.S. Senate in March. Levine in October became a four-star admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service.

The conference will take place in-person and virtually through Sunday.

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VIDEO: Biden addresses advocates on World AIDS Day

President says end to transmission ‘within striking distance’

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President Biden addressed advocates on World AIDS Day.

President Biden, in remarks delivered Wednesday at the White House in recognition of World AIDS Day, said to advocates in the fight against HIV/AIDS the end to HIV transmission was near.

“It’s because of you and it’s not hyperbole to suggest that we are within striking distance of eliminating HIV transmission, within striking distance,” Biden told attendees in the East Room.

Joining Biden in the East Room were Secretary of Health & Human Services Xavier Becerra and Gabriel Maldonado, an HIV/AIDS Advocate and founder of TruEvolution, a Riverside, Calif.-based LGBTQ group.

Biden also during his remarks touted having made the appointment of Harold Phillips to lead the White House Office of National AIDS Policy — a position that had gone vacant throughout the entirety of the Trump administration.

Notably, Biden talked about the Ending the HIV Epidemic plan, an initiate health officials started in the Trump administration, by saying was to beat HIV domestically by 2030. That was initial target date when the initiative, but Biden had campaigned on defeating by HIV by 2025 to the skepticism off observers.

Watch Biden full remarks below:

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