The Respect for Marriage Act introduced by U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein in the U.S. Senate cleared one hurdle last week when it was passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Feinstein's bill would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act -- a law that has been on the books for 15 years that, at the time, was passed by huge majorities in both houses of Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton.
The legislation is co-sponsored by both of New York's U.S. senators, Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued a statement shortly after the Senate Judiciary Committee voted on the measure commending the committee for approving the legislation.
"Today's historic vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee represents a major step forward in the fight for full equality. Our office is challenging the federal Defense of Marriage Act in court over its clear violation of the principle of equal justice under law as enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, and its interference with New York's efforts to ensure marriage equality for its citizens. We will fight every day to defend the fundamental guarantee of equal protection under law for all New Yorkers."
New York's state legislature passed legislation legalizing same-sex marriage on June 24 and Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law that night. The law went into effect July 24.