Friday, September 11, 2009

Bill to repeal DOMA to be filed in the U.S. House on Sept. 15th

Since the U.S. Government has been repeatedly attacked with multiple lawsuits (including, a prominent and founding Union member, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts) over the Defense of Marriage Act (DoMA), U.S. Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-New York) will file a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives to repeal it.

The bill will be unveiled at a press event Tuesday. Openly gay legislators such as Wisconsin's U.S. Representative Tammy Baldwin and Colorado's U.S. Representative Jared Polis are expected to attend.

Recently, U.S. President Obama's Department of Justice defended the law in a California lawsuit that aimed to overturn the statute. That suit has since been dismissed on a technicality.

Most believe the bill will never make it out of the U.S. House of Representatives, and that the lawsuit filed by the Attorney General of Massachusetts has the best chance of striking down the law for infringing on the sovereignty of the Commonwealth and its exclusive right to define marriage, which the federal government must recognize (as it always has).

There is a great deal of division in the bill being filed on Tuesday because many feel the bill should simply recognize the marriages of gay and lesbian couples by the federal government if gay marriage is legal in their home state. Not only would this satisfy the Attorney General of Massachusetts, but it would also give couples access to federal benefits such as Social Security and federal pensions.

Most expect the bill to fail if the provision allowing states to ignore gay marriages performed outside their borders isn't left in tact.

In California today, other battles loomed as the Senate approved a bill late Wednesday that recognizes gay and lesbian marriages performed outside the state prior to November 5, 2008. The bill was passed in the California Assembly earlier in the month.

The social conservative group California Family Council (CFC), which supports the gay marriage ban, is urging California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to veto the measure, and has called the bill “unconstitutional.”

The people of California are sovereign, and the language of Proposition 8 is clear regarding the people's intent,” Ron Prentice, director of CFC, said in a statement. “However, California's current Legislature will continue to attempt to weaken the laws set forth by the people.”


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