"Defense Of Marriage Act" - DOMA
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"Defense Of Marriage Act" - DOMA
Sun Feb 29 14:51:17 2004
64.140.158.106

Defense Of Marriage Act" - DOMA
5/96 H.R. 3396 Summary/Analysis
http://www.lectlaw.com/files/leg23.htm

Congress of the United States
House of Representatives

SUMMARY AND ANALYSIS

DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE ACT
AS INTRODUCED ON MAY 7, 1996

BY REPS. BOB BARR (GA), STEVE LARGENT (OK), JIM SENSENBRENNER (WI), SUE
MYRICK (NC), ED BRYANT (TN), BILL EMERSON (MO), HAROLD VOLKMER (MO), IKE
SKELTON (MO)

The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) does two things. First, it provides
that no State shall be required to give effect to a law of any other
State with respect to a same-sex "marriage." Second, it defines the
words "marriage" and "spouse" for purposes of Federal law.

The first substantive section of the bill is an exercise of Congress'
power under the "Effect" clause of Article IV, section 1 of the
Constitution (the Full Faith and Credit Clause) to allow each State (or
other political jurisdiction) to decide for itself whether it wants to
grant legal status to same-sex "marriage." This provision is necessary
in light of the possibility of Hawaii giving sanction to same-sex
"marriage" under its state law, as interpreted by its state courts, and
other states being placed in the position of having to give "full faith
and credit" to Hawaii's interpretation of what constitutes "marriage."
Although so-called "conflicts of law" principles do not necessarily
compel such a result, approximately 30 states of the union are
sufficiently alarmed by such a prospect to have initiated legislative
efforts to defend themselves against any compulsion to acknowledge same-
sex "marriage."

This is a problem most properly resolved by invoking Congress' authority
under the Constitution to declare what "effect" one State's acts,
records, and judicial proceedings shall have in another State. Congress
has invoked this authority recently on two other occasions; in the
Parental Kidnaping Prevention Act of 1980, which required each State to
enforce child custody determinations made by the home State if made
consistently with the provisions of the Act; and in the Full Faith and
Credit for child Support Order Act of 1994, which required each State to
enforce child support orders made by the child's State if made
consistently with the provisions of the Act.

The second substantive section of the bill amends the U.S. Code to make
explicit what has been understood under federal law for over 200 years;
that a marriage is the legal union of a man and a woman as husband and
wife, and a spouse is a husband or wife of the opposite sex. The DOMA
definition of marriage is derived most immediately from a Washington
state case from 1974, Singer v. Hara, which is included in the 1990
edition of Black's Law Dictionary. More than a century ago, the U.S.
Supreme Court spoke of the "union for life of one man and one woman in
the holy estate of matrimony." Murphy v. Ramsey, 114 U.S. 15, 45
(1985).

DOMA is not meant to affect the definition of "spouse" (which under the
Social Security law, for example, runs to dozens of lines). It ensures
that whatever definition of "spouse" may be used in Federal law, the
word refers only to a person of the opposite sex.
------

104th CONGRESS 2D SESSION

H.R. 3396

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Mr. BARR of Georgia (for himself, Mr. LARGENT, Mr. SENSENBRENNER, Ms.
MYRICK, Mr. VOLKMER, Mr. SKELTON, Mr. BRYANT, and Mr. EMERSON)
introduced the following bill, which was referred to the Committee
on_____________

A BILL

To define and protect the institution of marriage.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the "Defense of Marriage Act".

SEC. 2. POWERS RESERVED TO THE STATES.

(a) IN GENERAL. -- Chapter 115 of title 28, United States Code, is
amended by adding after section 1738B the following:

Section 1738C. Certain acts, records, and proceedings and the effect
thereof

"No State, territory, or possession of the United States, or Indian
tribe, shall be required to give effect to any public act, record, or
judicial proceeding of any other State, territory, possession, or tribe
respecting a relationship between persons of the same sex that is
treated as a marriage under the laws of such other State, territory,
possession, or tribe, or a right or claim arising from such
relationship."

(b) CLERICAL AMENDMENT. -- The table of sections at the beginning of
chapter 115 of title 28, United States Code, is amended by inserting
after the item relating to section 1738B the following new item: "1738C.
Certain acts, records, and proceedings and the effect thereof."

SEC. 3. DEFINITION OF MARRIAGE.

(a) IN GENERAL. -- Chapter 1 of title 1, United States Code, is amended
by adding at the end the following:

"Section 7. Definition of 'marriage' and 'spouse'

"In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling,
regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and
agencies of the United States, the word 'marriage' means only a legal
union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word
'spouse' refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or
a wife."

(b) CLERICAL AMENDMENT. -- The table of sections at the beginning of
chapter 1 of title 1, United States Code, is amended by inserting after
the item relating to section 6 the following new item:

"7. Definition of 'marriage' and 'spouse'."

-----
-----------------------
President Bush: "The Defense of Marriage Requires a Constitutional Amendment"
http://www.idgop.org/

President Calls for Constitutional Amendment Protecting Marriage
Remarks by the President
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/02/20040224-2.html

1996 marriage act called vulnerable
By Cheryl Wetzstein
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
http://www.washtimes.com/national/20030904-110922-8599r.htm

A federal law that defines traditional marriage is vulnerable to overturning by courts, two legal analysts yesterday told a Senate hearing.
Two U.S. Supreme Court rulings have found constitutional protections for same-sex relationships, Gregory S. Coleman, former solicitor general of Texas, told the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on the Constitution, civil rights and property rights.
This does not bode well for the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), Mr. Coleman said, referring to the law that defines marriage as "the legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and that a spouse is a husband or wife of the opposite sex."
"It is likely, though not inevitable" that DOMA and other prohibitions on same-sex "marriage" will be found unconstitutional in the near future, he said.
DOMA passed Congress with large majorities in 1996.
Michael P. Farris, president of Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Va., and a constitutional law instructor, said, "I am dubious that DOMA will survive even a few years. I am absolutely certain that it will not last a generation."
Dale Carpenter, a professor at the University of Minnesota Law School, disagreed that DOMA was in imminent danger.
"It is unlikely that courts will impose immediate, nationwide gay marriage contrary to this powerfully expressed legislative and popular will," Mr. Carpenter said.
A greater peril, he said, is inherent in amending the Constitution, as a House bill proposes, to define marriage as between a man and a woman. Defining marriage in the Constitution is "unnecessary, radical, undemocratic and [an] overly broad departure from the nation's traditions and history," said Mr. Carpenter.
Throughout the nearly three-hour hearing, Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican and a former state attorney general, stressed that the hearing was about the future of DOMA, not a constitutional amendment.
"The question before us now is whether the popular and bipartisan [DOMA] legislation will remain the law of the land, as the people intended, or be overturned by activist courts," Mr. Cornyn said. Congress should defend DOMA if it is endangered, he said.
Sens. Russell D. Feingold of Wisconsin, Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont and Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, all Democrats, questioned why a hearing was held on DOMA.
No court has questioned DOMA and no one has suggested seriously that the law is in danger, Mr. Leahy said.
"I do not believe that Congress should spend time on an issue that should be left to the states and religious institutions," Mr. Feingold said.
"What are we doing here?" asked Mr. Kennedy, adding that Congress had more pressing issues to discuss than a marriage amendment "that responds to a nonexistent problem."
In response, Mr. Cornyn held up a recent Newsweek magazine with a cover story on homosexual "marriage." One would have to be blind not to see that marriage has become a public issue, he said.
Also testifying was the Rev. Ray Hammond, an adviser to the Alliance for Marriage, a coalition supporting a federal marriage amendment; syndicated columnist and traditional-marriage advocate Maggie Gallagher; and San Francisco health care worker Keith Bradkowski, who testified about his difficulties obtaining death benefits after his partner, Jeff Collman, was killed on September 11, 2001.
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WHEN YOU BREAK "THE LAW" YOU SHOULD GO TO JAIL!
 

 

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