New Challenge to the Federal Defense of Marriage Act


On September 15, 2009, a bill (H.R. 3567, entitled the "Respect for Marriage Act of 2009") was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives to repeal the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and to "ensure respect for State regulation of marriage."

Since 1996, the DOMA has provided that for all purposes of federal law, such as ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code, 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 wife." The DOMA further provides that states may, but are not required to, recognize any same-sex "marriage" that is performed in another state.

The proposed bill, which simply provides....

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