Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Will the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) be Repealed?

If so, the effect would be legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide.

-- From "Dem Senators Divided on Obama's Call for Repealing Defense of Marriage Act" by Josiah Ryan, CNSNews.com Staff Writer 5/21/08

On the Spot (CNSNews.com) - A sampling of Senate Democrats expressed sharply divergent views yesterday on whether they would support Sen. Barack Obama's (D-Ill.) call to "fully repeal" the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which in the wake of this week's California Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage as well as a similar 2003 decision by the high court of Massachusetts, would have the effect of legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide.

Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) said she would support Obama's position, while Sens. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) and Thomas Carper (D-Del.) said they would not. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) expressed surprise that Obama had taken a position in favor of full repeal of DOMA.

The Defense of Marriage Act, signed into law by President Clinton in 1996, protects states from having to recognize same-sex marriages contracted in other states. Ordinarily, under the "Full Faith and Credit Clause" of the Constitution, states are required to recognize "the public Acts, Records and judicial Proceedings of every other State."

"Obama also believes we need to fully repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and enact legislation that would ensure that the 1,100+ federal legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex couples in civil unions and other legally recognized unions," his campaign Web site says.

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