GOP Re-Introduces Bill To Block Federal Recognition Of Out-Of-State Marriages

“Even though the Supreme Court made clear in United States v. Windsor that the federal government should defer to state ‘choices about who may be married,’ the Obama Administration has disregarded state marriage laws enacted by democratically elected legislatures to uphold traditional marriage. I support traditional marriage and we should reject attempts by the Obama Administration to force same-sex marriage on all 50 states. The State Marriage Defense Act helps safeguard the ability of states to preserve traditional marriage for their citizens.” – Sen. Ted Cruz, announcing the reintroduction of a bill that would block the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages conducted outside the state in which the couple resides.

Rep. Randy Weber yesterday re-introduced the same bill in the House, where it died in committee last year after fewer than 25% of GOP House reps bothered to sign on as cosponsors. At this writing the Senate version of the bill has 11 cosponsors including Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL). The House version of the bill has 23 cosponsors including Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-TN), who in 2012 was exposed as having committed adultery many, many times. The bill would obviously be made moot by a positive ruling from the Supreme Court, but they’ve got to keep the Teabagistan base happy.

The Human Rights Campaign reacts:

The bill would callously strip federal rights and benefits from married same-sex couples – like federal employee health benefits, military spouse benefits, immigration rights, and many others – simply because of the state in which they currently live. In the name of protecting “states’ rights,” the bill would take spousal benefits away from the wife of a soldier serving in Afghanistan if she and their children were stationed in a state without marriage equality. In order to “defend marriage,” his legislation would force a grieving widower to pay an unfair tax on his husband’s estate, simply because the couple had retired nearer to grandchildren in their golden years. This legislation would make our nation’s already-unfair patchwork of laws even more burdensome for same-sex couples, and undermine the promise of equal treatment embodied in the historic Windsor decision.