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Two GOP congressmen announce support for DOMA repeal

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Two Republican members of the U.S. House have announced their support for repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the federal law that defines marriage as between one man and one woman.

U.S. Rep. Charles Bass of New Hampshire on Thursday became the third GOP House member and the second within the past week to support the Respect for Marriage Act, legislation that would repeal DOMA. Bass’ support is largely symbolic, however, as on Nov. 6 he lost his re-election bid to Democrat Ann McLane Kuster.

Reps. Charles Bass (left) and Richard Hanna.

Last week, U.S. Rep. Richard Hanna, a first-term incumbent from upstate New York, also announced his co-sponsorship of the bill in a statement provided to The Advocate.

In addition to repealing DOMA, the Respect for Marriage Act would require the federal government to recognize the validity of same-sex marriages where legally performed, and has a “certainty provision” that would allow married same-sex couples to retain federal benefits of marriage — including certain Social Security benefits, immunity from the estate tax and the ability to jointly file income taxes — even if these couples marry in one state and to move to another that doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage.

The 2011 version of the bill was introduced by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) on March 16, 2011, and a U.S. Senate version was introduced by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on the same day.

President Obama announced his support for the bill on July 19, 2011.

Last year, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) became the 125th co-sponsor of the bill in the U.S. House, and the first Republican member of Congress to announce support for the bill. With the addition of Bass and Hanna, the House bill now has 160 co-sponsors; the Senate version has 32.

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7 more reader comments:

  1. Interesting… For same-sex marriage

    Loving v. Virginia is discussed in the context of the public debate about same-sex marriage in the United States.[17]

    In Hernandez v. Robles (2006), the majority opinion of the New York Court of Appeals, that state’s highest court, declined to rely on the Loving case when deciding whether a right to same-sex marriage existed, holding that: “[T]he historical background of Loving is different from the history underlying this case.”[18] In the 2010 federal district court decision in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, which overturned California’s Proposition 8 (which restricted marriage to opposite-sex couples), Judge Vaughn R. Walker cited Loving v. Virginia to conclude that ***”the [constitutional] right to marry protects an individual’s choice of marital partner regardless of gender”.[19] On more narrow grounds, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed.[20][21]***

    Posted on Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 12:19pm
  2. Brave indeed.

    Posted on Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 12:29pm
  3. Wow. Now that IS courage-of-conviction!

    Posted on Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 12:35pm
  4. wow

    Posted on Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 12:59pm
  5. Two older white men, why am I not surprised?

    Posted on Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 1:05pm
  6. Good for them for being so free thinking its so nice too see

    Posted on Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 1:08pm
  7. have an lgbt community forum that offers a place to share information, meet others and offer support. I’m surprised at how often young kids show up who are feeling really bad and confused about their sexuality but have no support at home. We’ve been able to help them feel better. Would love more people to join in the conversation. please visit http://lgbtcommunityforum.com/

    Posted on Friday, December 28, 2012 at 3:12pm