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One Third of US Senators sponsor repeal of DOMA

Timothy Kincaid

December 21st, 2011

Senator Dianne Feinstein is the chief sponsor of Senate Bill 598, which would remove from Federal law the following language:

No State, territory, or possession of the United States, or Indian tribe, shall be required to give effect to any public act, record, or judicial proceeding of any other State, territory, possession, or tribe respecting a relationship between persons of the same sex that is treated as a marriage under the laws of such other State, territory, possession, or tribe, or a right or claim arising from such relationship.

And replace the following language in the code:

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.

with this language:

‘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.’.

At present, Senator Feinstein has the following 30 co-sponsors. Visually, this looks like the following, with light green representing one US Senator from that state and dark green representing both. Currently there are no Republicans who have signed on as co-sponsors of the bill, but there is reason to hope that some may sign on and more may vote for the bill.

Daniel Akaka [D-HI]
Michael Bennet [D-CO]
Jeff Bingaman [D-NM]
Richard Blumenthal [D-CT]
Barbara Boxer [D-CA]
Sherrod Brown [D-OH]
Maria Cantwell [D-WA]
Benjamin Cardin [D-MD]
Chris Coons [D-DE]
Richard Durbin [D-IL]
Al Franken [D-MN]
Kirsten Gillibrand [D-NY]
Thomas Harkin [D-IA]
Daniel Inouye [D-HI]
John Kerry [D-MA]
Amy Klobuchar [D-MN]
Herbert Kohl [D-WI]
Frank Lautenberg [D-NJ]
Patrick Leahy [D-VT]
Carl Levin [D-MI]
Jeff Merkley [D-OR]
Barbara Mikulski [D-MD]
Patty Murray [D-WA]
Bernard Sanders [I-VT]
Charles Schumer [D-NY]
Jeanne Shaheen [D-NH]
Mark Udall [D-CO]
Tom Udall [D-NM]
Sheldon Whitehouse [D-RI]
Ron Wyden [D-OR]

In addition, Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) has announced his intention to join the list.

Comments

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Brian
December 21st, 2011 | LINK

Because I’m not sharp enough to get all the legal implications does this mean:

1) my MA same-sex marriage would be federally recognized

and

2) there might still be states that can choose to bar same-sex marriage for their residents, even while they must recognize mine?

Rillion
December 21st, 2011 | LINK

My reading is that:

A state would still be able to not recognize your marriage, it will take the Supreme Court ruling to force states to recognize gay marriages from other states.

The Federal Goverment will recognize any marriage as long as it was legal in the state where it was entered into. So for example since you were married in MA, the Federal Government would continue to recognize you as married even if you moved to a state that would not recognize your marriage. So in effect it could be the opposite of now where a state will recognize a marriage but not the Feds, you will have some marriages recognized by the Feds but not by the state where the couple lives (assuming they traveled and got married in a state where gay marriage was legal).

See perfectly clear (joking)

Brian
December 21st, 2011 | LINK

Let me see if I’ve got this straight (so to speak): even if this were to pass into law heaven help us if

1) employment required us to relocate to a non-friendly state

2) we must travel through a non-friendly state and we suffer some life-threatening accident

3) we have to file taxes anywhere

4) it’s Tuesday

Brian
December 21st, 2011 | LINK

(duh. taxes. would finally not be a nightmare for us with both federal and state recognition, but would not be uniform with all LGBT in all states)

Donny D.
December 21st, 2011 | LINK

A small thing: Feinstein’s first name is spelled Dianne.

JCF
December 22nd, 2011 | LINK

Michiganians, contact Sen. Debbie Stabenow! I don’t understand why she’s not already a co-sponsor.

Steve
December 22nd, 2011 | LINK

I assume the second half in a) refers to marriages from other countries?

StraightGrandmother
December 22nd, 2011 | LINK

Boy this would sure be nice. If you lived in Texas you could take a vacation to Connecticut and get married. Then, no matter where you moved (you move back to Texas) your Federal Government considers you married for Federal benefits.

Charles
December 22nd, 2011 | LINK

It is sad that no Republicans are on the list.

Charles
December 22nd, 2011 | LINK

My guess is that the Supreme Court will correct this issue in the near future.

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