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Two more GOP lawmakers sign-on to co‑sponsor DOMA repeal bill

Two more GOP lawmakers sign-on to co‑sponsor DOMA repeal bill
U.S. Reps. Robert Dold (R-Ill.), left, and Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.).
U.S. Reps. Robert Dold (R-Ill.), left, and Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.).

WASHINGTON — Two GOP lawmakers have signed on as co-sponsors of the Respect for Marriage Act, a bill that would fully repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act.

U.S. Reps. Robert Dold (R-Ill.) and Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) join co-sponsors, Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) and Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.), raising the total to four Republican cosponsors, according to Freedom to Marry.

U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) re-introduced the bill in the U.S. House on January 6, aimed at ensuring all legally married, same-sex couples are treated equally under federal law. U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) introduced the companion bill in the Senate.

“The bill provides a uniform rule for recognizing couples under federal law, ensuring that lawfully married couples will be recognized under federal law no matter where they live and guaranteeing that all families can plan for a future of mutual obligation and support with confidence,” said Nadler.

In June 2014, one year after the Supreme Court’s ruling in Windsor v. United States, the Department of Justice issued a report concluding that without legislation, married same-sex couples will continue to be denied critical federal benefits.

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Specifically, the report concluded the government could not issue Social Security or veterans’ benefits to some married, same-sex couples because the agencies “are required by law to confer marriage-related benefits based on the law of the state in which the married couple reside or resided, preventing the extension of benefits to same-sex married couples” in certain states.

“This legislation is an important step toward ensuring that the federal government upholds its obligation to afford equal protection for all Americans,” said Dold, in a statement. “Washington should no longer stand in the way of loving unions between two people that have already been legally recognized in states like the one I represent.”

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