11/15/2011 04:14 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

DOMA Repeal Push Strengthens In California, Washington

One week after the Senate Judiciary Committee's landmark vote in favor of repealing the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the push from several state lawmakers against the controversial 1996 legislation barring same-sex couples from enjoying full marital benefits remains at an all-time high.

As the Associated Press is reporting, Washington's Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee has come out in support of an effort to allow gay and lesbian couples to wed in his state, calling it "the next logical step," according to his spokesperson. In 2009, Washington state approved the "everything but marriage" bill, which greatly expanded the rights of domestic partners.

Last month, a statewide poll by the University of Washington Center for Survey Research reportedly found that most voters would support a state gay marriage law. State Sen. Ed Murray and Rep. Jamie Pedersen, both Democrats who have experience with LGBT rights issues, added they are considering a push for same-sex marriage in January, The Seattle Times is reporting.

Similarly, California Governor Jerry Brown and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee are also among those urging Congress to repeal DOMA, calling the legislation "a strain on our common values," The San Francisco Chronicle reported. Brown also noted that 18,000 same-sex couples were legally wed in California in the five months before voters passed Proposition 8, which is now being challenged in federal court. "Californians in these marriages deserve to be treated the same by the federal government and other states as Californians in other legal marriages," Brown is quoted as having told the Senate committee.

Of course, the push to repeal DOMA is not without its dissenting voices. Inslee's Republican opponent Rob McKenna, the state's current attorney general, has said he does not support same-sex marriage, according to the AP. Meanwhile, Matt Barber of the Christian conservative group Liberty Council suggested that the legislation protects children from contracting HIV/AIDS. "Children who are raised in a lesbian or gay household are eight times more likely to engage in the homosexual lifestyle themselves," Barber said, according to On Top Magazine. "And that's terrible when you consider that the CDC has found that one out of five adolescent and men engaged in the homosexual lifestyle are HIV positive. Forty percent of them don't even know it."

Watch Barber's interview on DOMA below: