In this speech, Senator Reid blasted conservatives for wasting the Congress’ time debating the Defense of Marriage Act. Even though he "beleives that marriage is between one man and one woman," he beleives that we should not sully the Constitution with such an amendment, and that states should decide the issue. Of course, the State argument is bogus since activist judges can and do override similar legislation approved by the voters as "unconstitutional" – i.e. they appeal to the federal constitution to override legislation. So we need to give them an answer at that level.
And I have one more thing to say about this being a "waste of time." That all depends on what you think the consequences of taking this action, or not taking it, are on the country, and how that fits in to the hierarchy of long-term issues we are dealing with. Sure, the national debt, the environment, and the war in Iraq are critical.
But taking a mere week to ensure the domestic stability of families in America is worth it, and hardly much time compared to the time we "wasted" on the ERA, which never got passed.