Cruz reintroduces bill to strip federal marriage benefits in states where gay marriage not legal

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas)

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas)

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), joined by 11 fellow GOP Senators, re-introduced the State Marriage Defense Act on Tuesday, a bill that would require the federal government to recognize only marriages that are valid under the laws of the state in which a couple reside.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas)

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas)

“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,” said Cruz, in a statement.

“I support traditional marriage and we should reject attempts by the Obama Administration to force same-sex marriage on all 50 states,” he said.

The Human Rights Campaign condemned the legislation as a reckless and irresponsible attack on same-sex couples and their families.

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The legislation would roll back the federal government’s implementation of the Windsor decision, which struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act and extended recognition to the lawful marriages of same-sex couples for most federal spousal benefits.

Agencies across the federal government have since taken steps to recognize married same-sex couples for most federal purposes, even if they currently live in a state that does not itself respect their marriages.

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