Had activists in California and Maine yielded wins in their gay marriage fight, then there might actually be momentum to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act in Congress. That’s according to Rep. Jared Polis, who says, “We simply need to have more states that have same-sex marriage … if we get up to 10, 12, 15 states it becomes a real issue, and that’s when Congress will act and repeal DOMA.” Well, that is quite a mission! And also: A horrible reality.
Particularly because we’re still in the single digits when it comes to states with legal gay marriage, and arguably years (decades?) away from reach the double digits Polis says we’ll need. “I think we could certainly be a lot further down the road if we had preserved marriage in Calfiornia and preserved it in Maine, we would probably be talking about repealing the Defense of Marriage Act,” he tells Bil Browning. “But because we weren’t able to win those battles, it really set back the agenda, certainly on marriage-related issues.”
Even more troublesome: Isn’t the White House’s current resident promising a DOMA repeal during his tenure? He’s only got, maximum, seven years left. And yet there’s still work to be done repealing state constitutional amendments banning gay marriage, let alone enacting same-sex marriage laws there. Then again, Polis isn’t alone in his assessment: Rep. Jerry Nadler, who’s the lead sponsor on the DOMA-repealing Respect for Marriage Act, says the shortest timeline we should expect is in 2011.