Following the Supreme Court ruling on United States v. Windsor that found Section 3 of the so-called "Defense of Marriage Act" or DOMA to be unconstitutional, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice, and Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, reintroduced the "Respect for Marriage Act."
In a press release, Congressman Nadler said, "We should rejoice and celebrate today’s ruling, but our work is not yet done. The Court has ruled that Section 3 of DOMA is unconstitutional, but Congress still must repeal the law in its entirety. That is why we are reintroducing the Respect for Marriage Act, which repeals DOMA in its entirety and sends DOMA into the history books where it belongs. This bill ensures repeal of section 2 of DOMA, which was not at issue in the Windsor case and purports to excuse the states from even considering whether to honor the marriage of a gay and lesbian couple performed by a sister state. The bill also provides a uniform rule for recognizing couples under federal law, ensuring that all lawfully married couples will be recognized under federal law, no matter where they live. We salute today’s ruling. It is a tremendously important victory, but it is also a call to all of us to finish the job by passing the Respect for Marriage Act."
The "Respect for Marriage Act" has 161 original co-sponsors in the House of Representatives and 41 original cosponsors in the Senate. If passed, the bill would ensure the full repeal of DOMA.
Today, in a landmark victory for equality, the United States Supreme Court struck down a key section of DOMA, which prohibited the federal government from recognizing legally married same-sex couples. In a 5 to 4 ruling, the Court determined that Section 3 is unconstitutional "as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment." In a 5-4 vote, the Court also denied standing in Hollingsworth v Perry, which challenged the constitutionality of California's anti-gay Proposition 8. The decision will restore marriage equality in California.