Saturday, September 5, 2009

New bill will be introduced to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act

Thank you Jerry

New bill will be introduced to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act

New York Congressman Jerry Nadler is expected to introduce a bill in the next few weeks that would either fully or partially repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), according to Politico. The bill, which would require the Federal government to recognize same-sex marriages, is expected to get dozens of co-sponsors, but it has yet to be seen just how much of DOMA the bill will actually repeal.

DOMA states that the Federal government will not recognize same-sex marriages, and basically denies same-sex couples 1,138 rights that opposite-sex couples enjoy, including Social Security survivor payments. DOMA also allows individual states to choose how they define the word marriage. Currently under DOMA, states can choose not to recognize same-sex marriages, even if the marriages were legally performed in another state. Proposition 8 would have never been introduced if DOMA did not exist.

The bill could repeal the entire Defense of Marriage Act, or it could focus on solely repealing Section 2, the portion that denies federal recognition. With so much controversy over same-sex marriage, it would probably be ‘easier’ for Congress to pass a bill that only repealed the federal section, and continued to allow individual states to choose how they define marriage.

Interesting turning points have occurred recently in regards to DOMA. Former President Bill Clinton, who signed DOMA into law, spoke out in support of a repeal. So did Bob Barr, the author of the discriminatory law. Even President Obama called for a repeal of DOMA during his campaign; however earlier this year the Department of Justice, under his administration defended the law. The initial brief by the DOJ vigorously defended DOMA to the point where it compared same-sex marriage to incest and underage marriage. The uproar from the public resulted in the DOJ rewording and downplaying their arguments, using words that were less harsh

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