Democratic leaders in the U.S. Senate are pushing legislation to dismantle state laws preserving traditional marriage. The Senate Judiciary Committee has advanced a bill which would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Senate leaders may seek to
attach the DOMA repeal to annual legislation authorizing funding for the Department of Defense.
The proposal, deceitfully named the Respect for Marriage Act, is sponsored by California Senator Diane Feinstein.
It would eliminate the current provisions of federal law which protect states from being compelled to recognize same-sex unions legally established in other states. Without DOMA, proponents of so-called same-sex "marriage" will argue that the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the U.S. Constitution requires that every state recognize the marriage laws of other states.
This would effectively negate state laws and constitutional provisions in 44 states including Missouri which define marriage as the union of a man and a woman.
Same-sex "couples" would simply travel to a state which recognizes same-sex unions and then return to their home state demanding that their "marriage" be recognized as valid in their home state.
Feinstein's bill would also redefine marriage for the purposes of federal law. DOMA stipulates that federal rules and regulations shall only acknowledge traditional marriages, and that federal benefits shall only be paid to "spouses" who are a person of the opposite gender who is a husband or a wife.
The DOMA repeal legislation was endorsed by the Senate Judiciary Committee on a party-line vote of 10-8. All Democratic members of the committee voted yes, including Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, who is a
co-sponsor of the bill. All eight Republican members voted no.Senator Charles Grassley
of Iowa, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, sharply condemned the reckless proposal. "This debate is about stable families and good environments for raising children, and is not about discriminating against anyone. Traditional marriage between a man and woman has been the foundation of our society for 6,000 years. The Defense of Marriage Act protects this sacred institution, which I believe in, and attempts to dismantle this law will be met with a great deal of resistance."
Grassley represents a state where marriage was redefined to include same-sex unions through the dictatorial action of the Iowa Supreme Court. Since that ruling, Iowa press accounts report that as many as 45%
of the same-sex couples who have been "married" in that state have been out-of-state residents.
Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council, says the Senate Committee action is an insult to American voters. "The committee action disrespects the vast majority of Americans who want to protect marriage as the union of one man and one woman--and have done so in the 31 states which have passed referendums in favor of marriage."
"DOMA has stood the test of time, being upheld as constitutional by several courts, reflecting a national consensus on marriage, and ensuring that states will not
have a radical redefinition of marriage forced upon them by other states," Perkins added.
Speculation abounds that Senate Leader Harry Reid
may support efforts to attach the DOMA repeal to the annual Defense Department authorization bill. Senate leaders employed that tactic before, when they successfully attached homosexual "hate crimes" legislation to the bill funding our nation's military. That new law provided special protections to homosexual, "bisexual, and transgendered" individuals in federal criminal cases.
Legislation to repeal DOMA has also been introduced in the U.S. House, sponsored by Representative Gerald Nadler of New York. That bill has 133 co-sponsors, including Missouri Congressman Emmanuel Cleaver
"Gay marriage" proponents are also continuing their brazen efforts to redefine marriage in the federal courts. The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is currently considering a lawsuit challenging Proposition 8, the voter-approved California constitutional amendment which preserved traditional marriage in that state.
The California Supreme Court recently ruled that supporters of Proposition 8 have standing to defend the
law in federal court. California Governor Jerry Brown and California Attorney General Kamala Harris have refused to fulfill their constitutional duty to defend Proposition 8, which was declared unconstitutional by U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker in an outrageous decision void of any legal basis or reasoning.
Writing for a unanimous California Supreme Court, Justice Joyce Kennard stated: "Neither the Governor, the Attorney General, nor any other executive or legislative official has the authority to veto or invalidate an initiative measure that has been approved by the voters. It would exalt form over substance to interpret California law in a manner that would permit these
public officials to indirectly achieve such a result by denying the official initiative proponents the authority to step in to assert the state's interest..."
Homosexual activists are also mounting a challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act in federal court with the help of the state of Massachusetts. A federal judge has ruled that the DOMA provisions limiting federal benefits to traditional marriage partners is unconstitutional. President Obama announced earlier this year that the U.S. Justice
Department would not defend that section of DOMA. Since the President has abdicated his responsibility to defend the law, the U.S. House of Representatives has hired legal counsel to intervene in the case on behalf of DOMA.
We strongly encourage you to contact our two U.S. Senators to urge them to oppose efforts to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. You can contact Senator Claire McCaskill by clicking this link:Senator McCaskill
You can contact Senator Roy Blunt by using this link:Senator Blunt
The National Organization for Marriage is also conducting a petition drive in efforts to save DOMA. You can sign that petition by following this link:NOM