BuzzFeed Politics
January 31, 2013

Sen. John Kerry said goodbye to the Senate Wednesday, taking time to note the progress made on LGBT issues during his time in Congress. "We've gone from a Senate that passed DOMA over my objections to one that just welcomed its first openly gay senator," Kerry said of the 1996 vote for the Defense of Marriage Act. Kerry's departure itself is a milestone of sorts. When the U.S. Supreme Court agreed Dec. 7 to hear Edith Windsor's challenge to DOMA's provision banning federal recognition of same-sex couples' marriages, six sitting senators had voted against DOMA when the Senate voted on the bill in 1996. Kerry's departure Friday will leave only three people remaining in the Senate who voted against the bill in the Senate. California Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein and Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden are the remaining three senators to have opposed the bill since its original passage.