It’s been nearly six months since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, setting in motion a new round of progress for civil rights for LGBT Americans. For many Republicans, though, it’s been far too much progress.
And so a good chunk of the House Republican caucus has come up with an idea: DOMA, the sequel.
Rep. Randy Weber (R-Texas) and 27 other Republicans have proposed legislation that would prevent the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages for couples who live in states that do not permit these unions.
Weber’s State Marriage Defense Act, H.R. 3829, is a reaction to last year’s Supreme Court decision that struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)…. “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,” he said Thursday.
As Right Wing Watch explained, if the State Marriage Defense Act were somehow approved, it would, among other things, undermine an Obama administration policy that recognizes all legally married couples for federal tax purposes.
In practice, let’s say a same-sex couple gets married in Vermont, but then moves to Florida. According to the Obama administration, as far as the federal government is concerned, that couple is, in fact, married – even though Florida doesn’t accept marriage equality. The State Marriage Defense Act intends to prohibit the federal government from recognizing that marriage.
There is simply no way the legislation could pass the Democratic-led Senate or get President Obama’s signature, but the bill nevertheless has 28 original sponsors. What’s more, as The Hill’s report added, the proposal has also quickly picked up support from the Family Research Council, the National Organization for Marriage, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Concerned Women for America, and Heritage Action.
Let’s also not brush past the larger context: while 27 House Republicans are pushing a new proposal to undermine same-sex marriage, the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” has 147 co-sponsors and received a committee hearing yesterday.
There are still a fair number of political observers who believe congressional Republicans have abandoned the culture war and are steering clear of divisive social issues. There’s quite a bit of evidence to the contrary.