Murray: Now pretty much against DOMA.
  • Murray: Now pretty much against DOMA.
Last night, speaking to a ballroom full of gay business leaders at the Westin Hotel in downtown Seattle, Senator Patty Murray broke her silence on President Obama's recent decision to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act.

Murray told the people in the ballroom that they "deserve a government that respects you and your family," promised that "change can be slow but it does happen," and then, to her biggest standing ovation of the night, told the crowd: “It happened yesterday, when president Obama ordered the Department of Justice to stop defending DOMA in court.”

Once the cheering died down, Murray continued:

I support and I applaud the president’s decision because it is time to end this 14-year-old policy. I want you to know, when Congress returns to session next week, there will be those who challenge the president’s decision. And I want you to know that I will stand side by side with you to defeat those efforts. And if we are successful, it will take us one step closer to the day when no American family is treated as a second class citizen.

It wasn't exactly an apology for her 1996 vote in favor of DOMA, and it wasn't even a promise to vote for Sen. Dianne Feinstein's bill to repeal DOMA. Instead, it was a promise to fight "those who challenge the president's decision," whatever that means.

Still, it was an evolution for Murray, and a recognition of how important King County—and its large gay population—was to her reelection in November. "Thank you for being my friend," Murray said, closing her remarks to warm applause.