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GOP Bill Would Limit Federal Recognition Of Gay Marriage

A bill introduced by Rep. Randy Weber, R-Texas, and backed by 27 other Republicans seeks to keep the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriage of couples who live in states that don’t permit same-sex marriage.

After the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013, the federal government began recognizing those marriages wherever they are performed legally – the “place of celebration” clause.

The State Marriage Defense Act of 2014 would eliminate this clause and a same-sex couple’s marriage status would therefore change as they travel from state to state.

"I drafted the 'State Marriage Defense Act of 2014' to help restore the 10th Amendment, affirm the authority of states to define and regulate marriage, [and] provide clarity to federal agencies seeking to determine who qualifies as a spouse for the purpose of federal law," Weber said Thursday. "By requiring that the Federal Government defer to the laws of a person's state of legal residence in determining marital status, we can protect states' constitutionally established powers from the arbitrary overreach of unelected bureaucrats."

Weber admitted that he hasn’t finished reading the Supreme Court ruling to overturn DOMA in an interviewed with the Family Research Council (FRC).

The bill has the support of the FRC, the National Organization for Marriage, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, the U.S. Conference on Catholic Bishops, Concerned Women for America, and Heritage Action.

These same groups supported DOMA, when it superseded state marriage laws.

“Of course, the Obama administration has tried to fill in the blanks by ordering states to recognize all unions, regardless of what their individual constitutions say,” FRC said in a release Thursday. “In doing so, the Obama administration has created what the Supreme Court specifically condemned: ‘two contradictory marriage regimes within the same state.’ While the court didn’t strike down every state marriage law, the President has tried to — using the power of his federal agencies to offer Social Security, veterans, Medicaid, and other benefits to every couple (regardless of where they live) in a backdoor attempt to expand same-sex ‘marriage’ to every state in America.”

Sources: The Hill, ThinkProgress


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