The issue could also come up in reform of the immigration system as Democrats hope to provide green cards for same-sex couples. However if the court rules DOMA unconstitutional, there would be no barrier for the revamped immigration system to recognize same sex marriages.
Despite the muted GOP response, Democrats welcomed Portman’s announcement.
Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., said, “everyone should come out in favor of marriage equality. It’s the right thing to do. It’s an issue about justice and fairness.”
A senior Senate Democratic aide said that “there is universal admiration for the loyalty that Sen. Portman has shown for his family and the courage that he has shown within his party.”
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.