Reporting from Washington — Democrats introduced legislation Wednesday that would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, a renewed attack on the 15-year-old law the Obama administration has said it would no longer defend in court from challenges brought on behalf of same-sex couples.
The legislation comes as the Republican-led House has initiated its own legal defense of the act, which prevents gay couples from receiving various federal rights that are extended to heterosexual couples.
"It is time to right this wrong," Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said in introducing the bill with other senators. "This bill will ensure that all married couples in the United States enjoy equal protection of our laws."
The act became law during the Clinton administration and was designed largely to prevent same-sex marriages from states that allow them to be recognized in states that do not. Five states and the District of Columbia now recognize same-sex marriages.