It’s Heeeeere: DOMA Repeal Hits the House

Rep. Jerry Nadler’s Respect for Marriage Act, which has 76 sponsors and would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and eliminate its harmful effects, was introduced today in the House. Not that it has much chance of going anywhere at the moment. Something about that divisive “certainty provision,” which guarantees so-called “travel rights” — which keeps even gay marriages valid to the federal government even if a couple travels to another a state — that are sure to cause everyone to freak out about state sovereignty.

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  • Cam

    Funny how they don’t freak out about State sovereignty when I use my passport as an I.D. from State to State, or when you can use your Social Security number as an I.D. when paying various state taxes, or the fact that my drivers licesnse is valid from state to state etc…

  • GayGOP

    Surprise, surprise, Barney Frank isn’t supporting this repeal effort. He thinks that not only can it not win, the courts should kick DOMA down.

  • Tweek

    Although I would wish, at a federal level, we could get equal marriage rights, this step is too far and will not be accepted in the current climate. What would be more responsible would be to say that all states must accept marriage rights for visitors. By this I mean things like the ability to visit your spouse in the emergency room. This is a crucial step that I could see passing as a federal law. The reason being, is that it doesn’t threaten the state’s current right to define marriage as it pertains to that state. This puts the responsibility of know exactly the same-sex-oriented laws on couples who chose to actually move to that state, rather than putting the responsibility on travelers. And isn’t the federal government responsible for regulating trade between states? Wouldn’t the migration of travelers be considered a form of trade?

    Let’s win the political battles we can win, and spend the rest of our energy trying to work on social acceptance. That’s the only way we’ll be able to ultimately achieve equality.

  • Tweek

    @Tweek: This puts the responsibility of knowing the same-sex-oriented laws of a state on couples who chose to actually there, rather than putting the responsibility on those who are there on vacation.

    Sorry, I just realized this sentence sounded funny. here’s the rewritten version.

  • Brian

    President Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) on 21 September 2000. It defines marriage as an act between heterosexuals and frees one state from being required to honor the same-sex marriage conducted in another state.

    The House passed the bill, 342-67, on 12 July; two abstained and 22 did not vote. The Senate passed the bill, 85-14, on 10 September; one did not vote.

    The current religious makeup of the Congress would predict a vote of approximately 327-108 (depending on how many courageously “abstain”).

    The support against, DOMA in 2000 was 15% of the House. Nine years later it may have grown to 25%. Not nearly enough to end DOMA. Winning a “political vote” will require more politicians that put Equality before religion. We’re no where near that point. In fact, given the above referenced numbers, it would take another 30-40 years to achieve a majority against DOMA.

    HRC has spent more than $200 million in the last ten years “lobbying” politicians and $0 changing religious beliefs.

    In order to obtain real equality, we can’t be considered “wrong” by the majority of Americans and our elected officials. That’s the real challenge – changing minds.

  • Eric

    DOMA was signed into law on September 21, 1996, not 2000.

  • melanie

    @GayGOP: Barney Frank has made a big mistake on this one; it is important that REPEAL of DOMA is tackled in every way possible. This is a MUST DO Bill. There is nothing more onerous to civil rights than a piece of legislation that specifically excludes LGBT member of our society- so Barney get off your strategy crap and embrace this legislation – NOW. The bottom line is that what is the point of State autonomy on marriage if the Federal government fails to recognize it. Either way we are going to win.

  • Cubbybearks

    So when The Federal government made integration the only legal choice and then sent the reserves in to make sure in was followed in Alabama was is by passing that states right to decide that African-Americans were not equal to Caucasions. No it was dictating federal law just as it was meant to within the confines of the the constitution. The states are supposed to have a limited-emphasis on limited-amount of autonamy. I think that the biggest problem with federal marriage laws today is that America is still the only country that lets the church dictate laws, because so much of American culture is so riduculusly puritan. Watch banned commercials on YouTube sometime. I mean really most of them are fairly tame, its just American morals are stuck in the 18th and 19th century. Maybe someday America can grow up and join the rest of the world in the 21st Century, and realize that discrimination is just wrong.

  • Brian

    @melanie: Barney doesn’t have the votes. Religion wins again.

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