Setting up a direct conflict with the Republican-controlled House, Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), said his panel will consider legislation next month that would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act.
Leahy said in a statement that he intends to schedule committee consideration for the Respect of Marriage Act (S.598), a bill sponsored by Judiciary Committee member Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and cosponsored by 29 other Senators.
Leahy’s decision comes as House Republicans pay Paul Clement, former solicitor general under President George W. Bush, as much as $1.5 million to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in Court.
In February, Attorney General Eric Holder said that the Department of Justice would no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court.
Following that decision, House Republicans decided to hire a private attorney to defend the law.
The Defense of Marriage Act, passed in1996, bans federal recognition of same-sex marriages.