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Klobuchar to support DOMA repeal

Sen. Amy Klobuchar will support a bill that would repeal the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) when it comes up for a vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee on which Klobuchar serves, state Sen. Scott Dibble has indicated. DOMA currently prevents same-sex couples legally married in five states, Washington, D.C., and one tribal nation from receiving the federal benefits of marriage. President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder decided in February to halt defense of DOMA citing its probable unconstitutionality.

Last week, the Courage Campaign noted that Klobuchar was one of two Democratic senators who hadn’t signed on to the DOMA repeal bill (the other is Wisconsin’s Herb Kohl) and that her office stated that she had not taken a position on the bill. That prompted OutFront Minnesota, the state’s largest LGBT advocacy group, to initiate a campaign urging constituents to call on her to support the repeal.

On Tuesday, state Sen. Dibble of Minneapolis noted that he spoke with Klobuchar’s staff, who indicated she would vote for the measure.

“I have spoken directly with Amy Klobuchar’s State Director,” Dibble wrote on Facebook. “Senator Klobuchar will be voting for the repeal of DOMA in the Senate Judiciary Committee.”

Klobuchar’s press office has not responded to the Minnesota Independent’s request for confirmation.

DOMA was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Clinton in 1996. It bars the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriage which, at the time, no states had legalized. Today, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, the District of Columbia and the Coquille Tribal Council in Oregon perform same-sex marriages, and thousands of Californians are also legally married following several months in 2008 prior to the passage of Prop 8 when same-sex marriage was legal.

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