Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Nadler Details DOMA Repeal  | News | Advocate.com

Nadler Details DOMA Repeal  | News | Advocate.com

By Kerry Eleveld
Nadler Details DOMA Repeal

Rep. Jerrold Nadler has told the Bay Area Reporter that the Defense of Marriage Act repeal bill will only recognize married same-sex couples, not those in a civil union or domestic partnership. But the proposed DOMA legislation will be a wholesale repeal of the act.

"It will not include domestic partnerships or civil unions. It is going to be just marriage," said Nadler, who will be the lead sponsor of the bill and chairs the House Judiciary Committee's subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties.

Section 2 of DOMA allows states to disregard same-sex marriages that have been legally performed in other states, and Section 3 prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages. According to Nadler, his bill would repeal both sections.

But even with the repeal of Section 2, legal scholars say the bill would not require hostile states to recognize same-sex marriages for state-law purposes.

"While repealing the 'full faith and credit' portions of the Defense of Marriage Act is very important for a number of reasons, it will not have the dramatic and far-reaching effect of 'imposing' same-sex marriage upon other states, as many on both sides of the debate often assume," writes Tobias Wolff, a professor of constitutional law at the University of Pennsylvania.

Nadler said "the time for dumping DOMA is long overdue" but added that he did not know what type of support the legislation would garner. "We have to see what reaction we get. It won't pass this year."

Nadler expects to introduce the bill either this week or after lawmakers return from their August recess.

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