WASHINGTON — A Republican lawmaker has introduced a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives that would require federal agencies to use a person’s state of residence to determine federal recognition of marital status.
U.S. Rep. Randy Weber (R-Texas) on Thursday introduced the “State Marriage Defense Act,” which would require the federal government to “defer to the laws of a person’s state of legal residence in determining marital status” for purposes of federal benefits.
According to Weber’s website, the “State Marriage Defense Act of 2014” is to help restore the 10th Amendment, affirm the authority of states to define and regulate marriage, as well as, provide clarity to federal agencies seeking to determine who qualifies as a spouse for the purpose of federal law.”
Weber says his bill would “protect states’ constitutionally established powers from the arbitrary overreach of unelected bureaucrats.”
Weber appeared Thursday afternoon on the daily radio show hosted by Family Research Council (FRC) president Tony Perkins, and said that he drafted the bill in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling last June which struck down a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act, although he added that he had not actually read the entire ruling.
Weber’s bill was introduced with 28 co-sponsors and is supported by the FRC, the National Organization for Marriage, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, the U.S. Conference on Catholic Bishops, Concerned Women for America, and the Heritage Action PAC.