[NO] Respect for Marriage Act

You've probably heard of the Federal DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act), a bill signed into law in 1996 by President Clinton. It defines marriage for the Federal government as between one man and one woman; and it protects states who do not want same sex marriage in their state from being forced to recognize same sex marriages performed in other states.

Did you know about current efforts to get rid of DOMA? One effort is a bill introduced by the U.S. Congress called the "Respect for Marriage Act." Don't be mislead by the title. The goal of this bill is to force the Federal government to recognize same sex marriage, and eventually, force all the states. Are we surprised? We shouldn't be after the controversial repeal of "Don't Ask Don't Tell" (DADT). President Obama signed the repeal of DADT on September 22, 2011, thus ending the long-existing U.S. policy that prohibited homosexuals from being able to serve in the armed forces.

Earlier this year, Respect for Marriage Act bills were submitted to the House and the Senates' Judiciary Committees.  Now, after having successfully repealed DADT, activists on Capitol Hill are preparing to destroy DOMA. Next week, on November 3, 2011, the Senate Judiciary Committee will commence debate on the bill, leading ultimately to a vote.

Respect for Marriage Act Talking points - From Concerned Women for America
  • Despite its deliberately deceptive name, the “Respect for Marriage Act” insidiously seeks to destroy the historical, traditional definition of marriage.
    • It seeks to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
  • DOMA does not prohibit states from recognizing same-sex “marriages.”
    • It defines marriage as we have always known it, the union between one man and one woman, for federal purposes.
    • DOMA also protects states from being forced to recognized same-sex “marriages” from other states, if a state chooses to do so.
  • The Respect for Marriage Act runs contrary to the will of the majority of Americans who support marriage as the union between one man and one woman.
    • The most comprehensive scientific national survey to date, completed by Public Opinion Strategies (May 16-19, 2011), reveals that 62 percent of Americans believe “marriage should be defined only as a union between one man and one woman.” 53%  strongly agreed.
  • The Respect for Marriage Act circumvents the will of the 30 states that have already voted to protect marriage as the union between one man and one woman in their state constitutions, forcing the states to go against their own public policy goals to recognize same-sex “marriages” from other states.
    • More than 63 million Americans in 30 state elections have voted on constitutional marriage amendments. Around forty million in all (63 percent) voted to affirm marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
  • The Respect for Marriage Act forces states to recognize any kind of marriage that another state decides to sanction. It is by no means limited to same-sex “marriages.”
  • It was introduced by Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-New York) in the House (H.R. 1116) and Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California) in the Senate (S.598).

Keep your eye on the status of these efforts. May the Lord have mercy on us.

In God's light, we see light. Psalm 36:9