There are two new developments on the Defense of Marriage Act front.
First of all, U.S. District Judge Carter dismissed the suit of a CA gay couple that argued that DOMA is unconstitutional. The judge accepted the reasoning offered in a Justice Dept. brief that the couple had not suffered an "injury in fact," which would have given them standing to sue.
The Obama administration scored a victory of sorts in federal court Monday when a judge threw out an Orange County gay couple's lawsuit claiming that the federal Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.
The second development is that Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York is to introduce a bill in the House today that would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. Larry Margasak of AP does not give the bill much chance of passage this year. Backers of gay marriage want to repeal federal law:
WASHINGTON — Gay marriage supporters are moving to repeal a law that denies federal benefits to same-sex couples, but there's little chance of a vote this year.Congressional Quarterly agrees:
Repeal legislation to be introduced Tuesday has at least 76 House sponsors. A spokesman for the lead sponsor, Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York, acknowledged that repealing the Defense of Marriage Act was not a priority for movement anytime soon.
The 1996 law bars federal recognition of gay unions, including the granting of Social Security survivor payments and other government benefits to couples. The law even bars same-sex couples from receiving the benefits in states that have legalized their marriage.
A group of House Democrats plans Tuesday to unveil legislation that would extend federal recognition to same-sex marriages and repeal a 1996 law that bars it.UPDATE: The Washington Blade reports that the bill was introduced this morning: Respect for Marriage Act introduced in House: Passage would repeal DOMA:
The bill to be offered by Jerrold Nadler of New York, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Jared Polis of Colorado is the latest in a series of measures sought by gay rights activists. House Democratic leaders will not schedule a floor vote any time soon, but the proposal is evidence of the appetite of these activists and their legislative allies — now that Democrats control both Congress and the White House — for going beyond more incremental steps.
The Respect for Marriage Act, which, if passed, would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which was signed into law in 1996, was introduced in the House today.
Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Chair of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), and Jared Polis (D-Colo.) are the lead co-sponsors of the measure along with Reps. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and Nydia Velazquez (D-NY).
The bill would also provide same-sex couples with federal benefits and protections from a valid marriage from a state where same-sex marriages are legal if the couple moves or travels to another state, according to the Human Rights Campaign.