Obama Supports DOMA Repeal
Special Report - July 20, 2011
Yesterday, the White House made President Obama’s previous statements in favor of repealing the 1996 federal law that defines marriage as only between a man and a woman official by publicly supporting legislation to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The statement, which was made by White House Press Secretary Joe Carney during his daily press briefing, is the first time the White House has openly pledged its support of the proposed legislation, which is the subject of Congressional hearings this week in the Senate Judiciary Committee. “I can tell you that the President has long called for a legislative repeal of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, which continues to have a real impact on the lives of real peopleour families, friends and neighbors,” Carney said in response to a reporter’s question during Tuesday’s White House press briefing. “He is proud to support the Respect for Marriage Act, introduced by Senator Feinstein and Congressman Nadler, which would take DOMA off the books once and for all.”
Sponsored by Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA), S. 598-Respect for Marriage Act currently has 27 cosponsors in the Senate. A similar bill, H.R. 1116, has been introduced in the House by Representative Ralph Nadler (D-NY) with 118 cosponsors, including North Carolina Congressman David Price (NC-4). Both measures would repeal the federal DOMA, which defines marriage for the purposes of federal law as only between a man and a woman, and protects states, such as North Carolina, from having to recognize same-sex “marriages” that are performed in states where the practice is legal. In addition, S. 598 and H.R. 1116 would amend section of title 1 of the U.S. Code to read: “For the purposes of any Federal law in which marital status is a factor, an individual shall be considered married if that individual's marriage is valid in the State where the marriage was entered into or, in the case of a marriage entered into outside any State, if the marriage is valid in the place where entered into and the marriage could have been entered into in a State.”
Although President Obama has long indicated his opposition to the federal DOMA, including directing the U.S. Department of Justice and the Attorney General to cease defending DOMA in court earlier this year, Tuesday’s statement was the first time the White House has publicly supported specific legislation to repeal the federal marriage law.
U.S. House Affirms DOMA - July 11, 2011
DOMA Defenders Change Minds- April 26, 2011
DOMA Repeal Introduced - March 23, 2011
U.S. House to Intervene in DOMA Defense - March 15, 2011
White House Wants DOMA Repeal - August 19, 2009
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