WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday reintroduced the Respect for Marriage Act in the U.S. Congress, just hours after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
The Respect for Marriage Act would fully repeal DOMA and establish a clear guidelines for the federal government that all married same-sex couples – regardless of what state they currently live in – have access to equal rights, benefits, and protections under federal law.
Feinstein, a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee who was one of 14 senators to oppose DOMA in 1996, said Wednesday’s ruling by the Supreme Court “clearly establishes that one class of legally married individuals cannot be denied rights under federal law accorded to all other legally married couples” and that repealing DOMA “is necessary because inequities in the administration of more than 1,100 federal laws affected will still need to be fixed.”
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“It is time Congress strike this discriminatory law once and for all,” she said.
Nadler, the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Subcommittee, noted that the Supreme Court ruled that only Section 3 of DOMA is unconstitutional, but Congress still must repeal the law in its entirety.
“That is why we are reintroducing the Respect for Marriage Act, which repeals DOMA in its entirety and sends DOMA into the history books where it belongs. This bill ensures repeal of section 2 of DOMA, which was not at issue in the Windsor case and purports to excuse the states from even considering whether to honor the marriage of a gay and lesbian couple performed by a sister state,” said Nadler.
Section 3 of DOMA had codified the non-recognition of same-sex marriages for all federal purposes
The Respect for Marriage Act would provide a uniform rule for recognizing couples under federal law, and “will finally expunge DOMA’s discrimination from our nation’s laws and provide certainty to every married same-sex couple that their federal recognition will follow them wherever they may live or travel,” said Nadler.