A U.S. Senate committee held hearings Wednesday about repealing the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, also known as DOMA.
The law denies federal recognition of states' same-sex marriages and civil unions. DFL Sen. Al Franken was at the Judiciary Committee hearing and said it was time to scrap the measure.
"DOMA is an injustice," Franken said. "It is an immoral and discriminatory law. Our nation was founded on the premise that all people are created equal and that all persons should receive equal treatment under the law."
Franken also sparred with a witness from the conservative group Focus on the Family. He said the witness misrepresented government studies about the impact of growing up in a household with same-sex parents.
This week, President Barack Obama also backed a repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, but the Republican-controlled House is unlikely to back a repeal. Both parties see DOMA as a campaign issue next year.
Minnesota voters will decide next year on whether to approve an amendment to the state's constitution that would ban same-sex marriage.