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|Democrats reintroduce 'Respect for Marriage Act' to repeal gay marriage ban|
|Written by Ryan Watkins|
|Wednesday, 16 March 2011 12:22|
In the continuing wake of President Barack Obama's announcement that the Department of Justice would no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act in federal court, Democrats have begun the process to repeal the 1996 ban on federal recognition of same-sex marriage by reintroducing the “Respect for Marriage Act.”
The bill, originally introduced in 2009, would legislatively repeal DOMA. Sponsored by more than 100 representatives, including all four openly gay members of Congress, the bill faces an uphill battle to move out of the Republican-controlled House.
"DOMA now is viewed with deep skepticism from all sides,” said Lambda Legal National Marriage Project Director Jennifer C. Pizer in a released statement. “When members of Congress wrote this discrimination into law in 1996, they made a theoretical pronouncement, prompted both by popular anxiety at the thought that same-sex couples might start marrying, and by the personal and religious views of some about family life. But the days of theorizing are behind us.”
“DOMA did something never done before in U.S. History: it said the federal government will pretend that an entire class of legally married couples is not really married due to other people's religious or moral views about them, or because they don't fit how a declining number of people envision 'family,'” Pizer added.
House Republicans, lead by Speaker of the House John Boehner, have promised to defend DOMA in court. According to the Washington Blade, the House Bipartisan Legal Advisory Committee voted 3 to 2 last week to approve the law's defense. Democratic leaders were quick to point out that the legal system will determine the constitutionality of the law whether or not the House intervenes.
Top photo: House Speaker John Beohner vows to defend DOMA in federal court. (official photo)
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