Respect for Marriage Act introduced in the House to repeal DOMA

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 16, 2009 5:40 PM GMT
    The house has introduced legislation to repeal DOMA. The cleverly named Repect for Marriage Act would give legally married couples access to the 1,000+ rights granted by the federal government. So, this would only affect couples married in Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Iowa in addition to the couples married in California before Prop. 8 (hopefully Maine will get up on that soon).

    Notably absent from the bill's sponsors is Barney Frank, though the other two GLBT caucus members, Tammy Baldwin and Jarred Pollis, have sponsored.
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Sep 16, 2009 5:42 PM GMT
    does it stand a snowball's chance?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 16, 2009 5:50 PM GMT
    Meh, a bit early to see.

    But it is parsed well. It doesn't impose marriage on states with backwards policies. It doesn't give additional rights to federal employees who can't marry. So, it really isn't radical.

    The coalition sponsoring it is pretty left and this seems to have been against the wishes of the White House and House leadership so it might have trouble getting off the ground.

    Honestly, we aren't going to hear anything from this for months while health care and finance reform take the spotlight.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Sep 16, 2009 7:28 PM GMT
    images%5Csnowman.gif
  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    Sep 16, 2009 8:21 PM GMT
    If that means only recognizing gay marriages in states where they are already legal, then it's not any better than DOMA. It's not respecting marriage. It's not fixing the problem that exists and is basically re-stating that it's ok to make laws that disparage against homosexuals.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14295

    Sep 16, 2009 8:56 PM GMT
    The proposed law sounds like a good idea but good luck getting it past some of those primitive- minded, lame ass, right wing republicans. I can just see just about every extremist right wing holy roller getting all fired up over repeal of that horrendous DOMA law. They will be screaming out all their fairy tale retributions from God and all that shit.
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Sep 17, 2009 7:11 AM GMT
    It's worth a shot.
    Why not ?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 17, 2009 12:01 PM GMT
    Anto saidIf that means only recognizing gay marriages in states where they are already legal, then it's not any better than DOMA. It's not respecting marriage. It's not fixing the problem that exists and is basically re-stating that it's ok to make laws that disparage against homosexuals.


    From another perspective, a law forcing states to marry would be just as unconstitutional as DOMA. While liberal groups have been too chicken shit to challenge it in court (oh mamma, what an unfriendly Supreme Court we have) you know that conservative groups have a team of lawyers all ready.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 17, 2009 12:04 PM GMT
    It will probably fail, but, it's necessary to keep hammering away. Not every turn at bat produces a base hit and sometimes you have to bunt your way through to a win.
  • NickoftheNort...

    Posts: 1416

    Sep 17, 2009 12:57 PM GMT
    It's good that they're introducing it. Putting this kind pressure on the administration and one Democratic majorities will help keep us in mind and that we were also part of the effort to get them both elected.

    A vote on it will also help us figure out where our Representatives and Senators stand on it, who we can persuade toward pro-same-sex / equal rights, and who we should either not support or even actively seek to remove from Congress next year.
  • HotCoach

    Posts: 247

    Sep 17, 2009 1:11 PM GMT
    I believe Massachusetts has already filed a suit to get all Federal Rights and Privileges extented to those legally married in Mass but haven't heard how it's going.
    Anyone know?
  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    Sep 17, 2009 8:46 PM GMT
    MunchingZombie said
    Anto saidIf that means only recognizing gay marriages in states where they are already legal, then it's not any better than DOMA. It's not respecting marriage. It's not fixing the problem that exists and is basically re-stating that it's ok to make laws that disparage against homosexuals.


    From another perspective, a law forcing states to marry would be just as unconstitutional as DOMA. While liberal groups have been too chicken shit to challenge it in court (oh mamma, what an unfriendly Supreme Court we have) you know that conservative groups have a team of lawyers all ready.


    I'm not saying states should be forced to marry. DOMA itself is unconstitutional. Making another federal law that says it's respecting marriage by only recognizing marriages for gays in states where it's legal while meanwhile recognizes marriages of straights and interracial couples everywhere else is just as much in error.

    I would be ok with that law, even though it would still be wrong, if it stated that blacks could marry whites only in states where it's legal and that straight marriages would only be respected in states where it's legal.
    Obviously that wouldn't affect such marriages now but just the idea of it, seeing it in words as federal law would definitely shake people up and perhaps bring the idea home to people who might even be anti-gay marriage but in support of such laws when it only concerns gay marriage.
  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    Sep 17, 2009 8:50 PM GMT
    NickoftheNorth saidIt's good that they're introducing it. Putting this kind pressure on the administration and one Democratic majorities will help keep us in mind and that we were also part of the effort to get them both elected.

    A vote on it will also help us figure out where our Representatives and Senators stand on it, who we can persuade toward pro-same-sex / equal rights, and who we should either not support or even actively seek to remove from Congress next year.


    I don't agree, I understand what you mean for it to do but why would you want people in government more concerned about trumping constitutional principals for favor of political support?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 17, 2009 8:51 PM GMT
    Anto saidI'm not saying states should be forced to marry. DOMA itself is unconstitutional. Making another federal law that says it's respecting marriage by only recognizing marriages for gays in states where it's legal while meanwhile recognizes marriages of straights and interracial couples everywhere else is just as much in error.


    Let me print for you the meat of the bill

    Respect For Marriage ActSECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Respect for Marriage Act of 2009''.

    SEC. 2. REPEAL OF SECTION ADDED TO TITLE 28, UNITED STATES CODE, BY
    SECTION 2 OF THE DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE ACT.

    Section 1738C of title 28, United States Code, is repealed, and the
    table of sections at the beginning of chapter 115 of title 28, United
    States Code, is amended by striking the item relating to that section.

    SEC. 3. MARRIAGE RECOGNITION.

    Section 7 of title 1, United States Code, is amended to read as
    follows:
    ``Sec. 7. Marriage
    ``(a) For the purposes of any Federal law in which marital status
    is a factor, an individual shall be considered married if that
    individual's marriage is valid in the State where the marriage was
    entered into or, in the case of a marriage entered into outside any
    State, if the marriage is valid in the place where entered into and the
    marriage could have been entered into in a State.
    ``(b) In this section, the term `State' means a State, the District
    of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any other territory or
    possession of the United States.''.


    So, it does two things
    1) repeals DOMA
    2) says that for federal purposes any valid state marriage is a valid federal marriage.

    Which, I think is a very agreeable incremental step towards marriage equality throughout the entire country.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 17, 2009 8:56 PM GMT
    Timberoo saiddoes it stand a snowball's chance?

    No, it doesn't. Republicans will go absolutely nuts to prevent it, obstruct any other pending legislation in order to get their way, call their Christian fundamentalist supporters into the streets to march against it. With, of course, the Republicans here cheering them on and being their dutiful apologists.
  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    Sep 17, 2009 9:00 PM GMT
    You don't need that law for it to happen though, you just need to repeal DOMA.

    The federal government doesn't have restrictions on gay marriage (except in armed forces code) as far as I know of outside of what has been stated in DOMA.

    If a civil marriage is legal at the state level, then it's recognized at the federal level automatically, right? DOMA was put in place on purpose to specifically block gay marriages at the federal level. So just remove DOMA. It's illegal anyway. We don't need another law to make gay marriages legal, we just need to remove the law which made gay marriages illegal.
  • NickoftheNort...

    Posts: 1416

    Sep 17, 2009 9:06 PM GMT
    Anto saidI don't agree, I understand what you mean for it to do but why would you want people in government more concerned about trumping constitutional principals for favor of political support?

    What constitutional principals are being trumped? All it does, as MunchingZombie points out, is that it repeals the Defense of Marriage Act and provides federal recognition of same-sex marriages and the rights that entails for such couples.

    Also, under this law, if you get married in Massachusetts and move down to Florida, you would still receive your federal marital benefits.

    It doesn't go as far some of us might like, in terms of establishing by the federal government's supremacy that all US states and territories must provide same-sex marriage. However, that would really test the idea (which may be incorrect) that marriages and marriage rights may be governed by each individual state.

    However, if it succeeds (and even if doesn't succeed) it builds pressure for the government recognition of our relationships in states where we don't yet have that recognition.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 17, 2009 9:07 PM GMT
    Anto saidYou don't need that law for it to happen though, you just need to repeal DOMA.

    The federal government doesn't have restrictions on gay marriage (except in armed forces code) as far as I know of outside of what has been stated in DOMA.

    If a civil marriage is legal at the state level, then it's recognized at the federal level automatically, right? DOMA was put in place on purpose to specifically block gay marriages at the federal level. So just remove DOMA. It's illegal anyway. We don't need another law to make gay marriages legal, we just need to remove the law which made gay marriages illegal.


    He's right... what this is actually doing is saying gay marriages performed in recognized states for residents of unrecognized states are not to be recognized at the federal level... its actually a slight push in the right direction, but is still interfering with the full faith and credit clause... a marriage is a legal contract which CONSTITUTIONALLY MUST BE RECOGNIZED by ALL other states.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 17, 2009 9:09 PM GMT
    NickoftheNorth said
    Anto saidI don't agree, I understand what you mean for it to do but why would you want people in government more concerned about trumping constitutional principals for favor of political support?

    What constitutional principals are being trumped? All it does, as MunchingZombie points out, is that it repeals the Defense of Marriage Act and provides federal recognition of same-sex marriages and the rights that entails for such couples.

    Also, under this law, if you get married in Massachusetts and move down to Florida, you would still receive your federal marital benefits.

    It doesn't go as far some of us might like, in terms of establishing by the federal government's supremacy that all US states and territories must provide same-sex marriage. However, that would really test the idea (which may be incorrect) that marriages and marriage rights may be governed by each individual state.

    However, if it succeeds (and even if doesn't succeed) it builds pressure for the government recognition of our relationships in states where we don't yet have that recognition.


    Actually, the wording makes it so any married gay couple in florida wouldnt be recognized... read the wording... only states where the couple is legally recognized AND a resident will the federal government recognize it.
  • NickoftheNort...

    Posts: 1416

    Sep 17, 2009 9:12 PM GMT
    Anto saidSo just remove DOMA. It's illegal anyway. We don't need another law to make gay marriages legal, we just need to remove the law which made gay marriages illegal.

    Without a law positively affirming federal government recognition of same-sex marriages, don't we risk having it defined by the courts? Our case has become special and contentious enough that I definitely imagine some officials refraining from providing same-sex marriages if it is not explicitly granted to us.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 17, 2009 9:14 PM GMT
    Anto saidYou don't need that law for it to happen though, you just need to repeal DOMA.

    The federal government doesn't have restrictions on gay marriage (except in armed forces code) as far as I know of outside of what has been stated in DOMA.

    If a civil marriage is legal at the state level, then it's recognized at the federal level automatically, right? DOMA was put in place on purpose to specifically block gay marriages at the federal level. So just remove DOMA. It's illegal anyway. We don't need another law to make gay marriages legal, we just need to remove the law which made gay marriages illegal.

    "As far as you know" doesn't include very much about DOMA. But you do know your Republican talking points in support of DOMA, that it's merely about state rights and nothing more. (Gosh, where have we heard that one before? Opposition in the 50s & 60s to Black Civil Rights, perhaps?)

    The third section of DOMA specifically says:

    SEC. 3. DEFINITION OF MARRIAGE.

    (a) In General.--Chapter 1 of title 1, United States Code, is
    amended by adding at the end the following:

    ``Sec. 7. Definition of `marriage' and `spouse'

    ``In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any
    ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative
    bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word `marriage' means
    only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife,
    and the word `spouse' refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is
    a husband or a wife.''


    This means all kinds of US Federal agencies and laws cannot recognize gay marriage, even when a state like Vermont does legalize it. To wit: Social Security benefits, immigration laws, being counted in the US Census as a couple (Apparently will now be changed under Obama for 2010 census), military housing, medical & survivor entitlements, to name just a few.
  • NickoftheNort...

    Posts: 1416

    Sep 17, 2009 9:21 PM GMT
    KyleAD saidActually, the wording makes it so any married gay couple in florida wouldnt be recognized... read the wording... only states where the couple is legally recognized AND a resident will the federal government recognize it.

    Respect for Marriage Act``(a) For the purposes of any Federal law in which marital status
    is a factor, an individual shall be considered married if that
    individual's marriage is valid in the State where the marriage was
    entered into or, in the case of a marriage entered into outside any
    State, if the marriage is valid in the place where entered into and the
    marriage could have been entered into in a State.

    From reading the wording, I only see it mentioning the state in which the marriage was entered into, not the current residence.

    In effect, the federal government will recognize same-sex marriages that were established by recognized authorities with the power to provide same-sex marriages (even non-US states if such states provide for same-sex marriage recognition).

    A couple married in Florida would not be recognized (because the state of Florida defines marriage as being between a man and a woman), but a couple married in Massachusetts and that has moved to Florida should be recognized.

    It's quirky and inconsistent, but that's how discriminatory laws are until their over-turning "revolution."
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 17, 2009 9:24 PM GMT
    "in the case of a marriage entered into outside any
    State,
    if the marriage is valid in the place where entered into and the
    marriage could have been entered into in a State."


    its legaleze for the state of residence... if a couple was married in Massachusetts and moved to iowa, they would keep federal and state benefits, if they then moved to florida or california, they would lose both.
  • jarhead5536

    Posts: 1348

    Sep 17, 2009 9:59 PM GMT
    Timberoo saiddoes it stand a snowball's chance?


    Nope.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 17, 2009 10:29 PM GMT
    Anto saidYou don't need that law for it to happen though, you just need to repeal DOMA.

    The federal government doesn't have restrictions on gay marriage (except in armed forces code) as far as I know of outside of what has been stated in DOMA.

    If a civil marriage is legal at the state level, then it's recognized at the federal level automatically, right? DOMA was put in place on purpose to specifically block gay marriages at the federal level. So just remove DOMA. It's illegal anyway. We don't need another law to make gay marriages legal, we just need to remove the law which made gay marriages illegal.


    That is what this bill does. It repeals DOMA.