A bill to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and ensure respect for State regulation of marriage. Read More


This bill was introduced on Nov 10, 2011, in a previous session of Congress, but was not passed.


Date Introduced
Mar 16, 2011


Bill Text


To repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and ensure respect for State regulation of marriage.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


This Act may be cited as the ``Respect for Marriage Act of 2011''.


Section 1738C of title 28, United States Code, is repealed, and the table of sections at the beginning of chapter 115 of title 28, United States Code, is amended by striking the item relating to that section.


Section 7 of title 1, United States Code, is amended to read as follows: ``Sec. 7. Marriage ``(a) For the purposes of any Federal law in which marital status is a factor, an individual shall be considered married if that individual's marriage is valid in the State where the marriage was entered into or, in the case of a marriage entered into outside any State, if the marriage is valid in the place where entered into and the marriage could have been entered into in a State. ``(b) In this section, the term `State' means a State, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any other territory or possession of the United States.''. <all>

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Sentiment Map



6 Supporting
0 Opposing
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State: CA

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District: 1st

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Organizations Supporting

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The American Humanist Association supports the Respect for Marriage Act, which would effectively repeal the anti-LGBT Defense of Marriage Act in its entirety. The American Humanist Association supports the marriage rights of all citizens, regardless of sexual orientation. The LGBT community should no longer be discriminated against in the eyes of the federal government.

In July, the Senate Judiciary Committee held the first-ever Congressional hearing on whether to repeal DOMA. The day before, President Obama, in a rare move, formally endorsed Sen. Feinstein's bill -- the Respect for Marriage Act -- to repeal DOMA. That, combined with the 30 Senators who have publicly committed to repealing DOMA, means we have a lot of momentum. But Sen. Reed is not one of those 30 Senators, even after July's hearing. Meanwhile, constituents like Beth Vorro and Elizabeth Coderre, together for 26 years, are treated by the federal government as if they're strangers -- and face significant financial disadvantages because of it. This affects hundreds if not thousands of similar couples in Rhode Island. It's time for Sen. Reed to support full federal equality for constituents like Beth and Elizabeth.

Courage Campaign 4 years ago

WinLiberty supports S. 598. This is about Equal Protection Under the Law. Marriage is and ought to remain an agreement between individuals. There is no legitimate governmental purpose in the private, consensual agreement between marital partners.

WinLiberty 4 years ago

The Respect for Marriage Act (RMA) repeals DOMA and restores the rights of all lawfully married couples—including same-sex couples—to receive the benefits of marriage under federal law. The bill also provides same-sex couples with certainty that federal benefits and protections would flow from a valid marriage celebrated in a state where such marriages are legal, even if a couple moves or travels to another state. By repealing Section 2, the Respect for Marriage Act returns to traditional principles of comity and Full Faith and Credit. Under the RMA, same-sex couples and their families would be eligible for important federal benefits and protections such as family and medical leave or Social Security spousal and survivors’ benefits, but the federal government could not grant state-level rights. The bill does not require states that have not yet enacted legal protections for same-sex couples to recognize a marriage. Nor does it obligate any person, state, locality, or religious organization to celebrate or license a marriage between two persons of the same sex. This legislation only requires the federal government to equally apply its policy of looking to the states in determining what legal relationships are eligible for federal benefits.

The Respect for Marriage Act would end the federal government’s 13-year old policy under DOMA of singling out legally married same-sex couples for discriminatory treatment by denying more than a thousand federal rights and protections of marriage. "DOMA was a radical departure from the way federal government has treated married couples throughout most of American history. It makes more sense to respect marriages than to destabilize them. In America, we don't have second-class citizens and we shouldn't have second-class marriages either."--Evan Wolfson, executive director of Freedom to Marry

Freedom to Marry 4 years ago

The Respect for Marriage Act repeals DOMA and affects only federal law. It would not require a state to recognize a valid marriage performed by another jurisdiction. Nor would it obligate any person, organization, locality or state to celebrate or license a marriage between two persons of the same sex. What it would do, however, is end the unconscionable denial of equal protection under federal law to lawfully married same-sex couples and their families. Under DOMA, LGBT couples and their families are denied the more than 1,100 federal protections and responsibilities that apply to married opposite-sex couples. To take but one example, Edith "Edie" Windsor and her late spouse, Thea Spyer, shared a lifetime together and were a couple for 44 years. Windsor filed a lawsuit against the federal government for refusing to recognize their marriage and imposing a $350,000 tax on Spyer's estate when she died that Windsor would not have had to pay if she were married to a man.

Organizations Opposing

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Oppose (for now): The work is not done yet. It is still polarizing people to an excessive degree and distracting them from clear thought on other issues. On Heterophobia, Gay Marriage and Civil Unions There are two facts about homosexuality that all sane people will agree to: 1) that no culture exists that does not have some number of gays in its population either openly or clandestinely and 2) that “gay bashing” negatively impacts the culture with vigilantism and the injury and death of gays as well as those falsely accused (either through naiveté and superstition or through deliberate slander – there are even cultures that claim they can recognize homosexuals at birth and practice infanticide in the name of this vision). The vigilantism is not only overt but also passive-aggressive, and it permeates the culture with an obsessive testing and faking of homosexual behaviors that have no other effect but to guarantee the homophobic and heterophobic advantages in the workplace guaranteeing that the inappropriate will always have an edge. Some of those who are targeted are completely without real or imagined homosexual behavior markers, but merely refuse to participate in those obsessive, ever-present, latently homosexual, inappropriate behaviors and perverted, pimpy pantomimes in the name of a true commitment to politically correct behaviors, appropriateness, and a workplace and community without sexual harassment. These are truly heterosexual and they frighten both many of the homosexual and the homophobic. Those who refuse to participate in the inappropriateness are victims of heterophobia and are often harassed out of the workplace and community or forced to comply with the inappropriateness. This subtler, passive-aggressive form of vigilantism is often used to harass the competent as well – those who can make their way in the work place without the perverted, pimpy behaviors. Anyone who dare be both competent and appropriate is the first and major target for mobbing and bullying in any workplace or community plagued by homophobia and heterophobia. While homosexuals in the U.S. have gained a wider acceptance and wider protection, there are those who refuse to believe that strong negative reactions to homosexuality are as inevitable in any culture as homosexuality is itself . There are also those who insist that one is either 100% pro-homosexual rights or 100% against them. The gay community needs to deal with the reality that many will never give up their negative associations to homosexuality as inevitably as there will always be gays in any culture. And they can no more be 100%”educated” out of the culture as homosexuality could. Certainly education helps, but it cannot be one-sided, the reality of the existence of gays needs to be taught to others as much as the reality and inevitability of those who will never accept it. All we can really hope to do is quiet the violence and encourage civility in a long-term process. And those gays who prefer to educate the culture need to recognize and accept that there will always be those who want to educate them. One particularly good example of the homosexual community’s refusal to accept the inevitability of this opinion in any culture is their refusal to recognize there are many democrats and many liberals who do not and will never accept it and are often forced into “hiding” in the right wing to affect their agenda from there rather than be intimidated by the constant bombardment of democratic rallies with transgender parades and the flaunting of the most exaggerated homosexual behaviors in the face of all and any other democratic issues (except perhaps abortion which is equally exaggerated in its popularity and its expediency as a liberal issue and identifier). Adherents of both issues insist that anyone who is not 100% for the latest and greatest and most extreme of all the homosexual hot-button issues or abortion issues today simply must not be a liberal. Extremists adherents of both issues have decimated the left and this fact is totally unrecognized. Certainly both sides are completely unaware of the effectiveness of subtler and slower, more considered approaches to these issues that may have more effective results for those two main issues than the extremes could ever effect. Returning to the original issue that sane people agree that all cultures will have homosexuality and that the vigilantism in its wake is not of value to the culture. However, neither liberals nor conservatives can allow the extremes of these issues to polarize and dominate American politics to the degree that they do, and they must realize that effective policy for all would be more likely to result if the extremists were not so determined to dominate the left and America with just those two issues. The issue of gay marriage is now “in the face” of the 2012 political candidates distracting them and forcing them to be labeled either anti-gay or anti-God when there are many other issues that need to be addressed. TaxTheRichDotName is itself on a one-issue mission and as such will take no side on this issue, but would like to point out that a number of states do allow gay marriage or civil unions, so why not step back for a few months and see whether the passage of these laws have a positive or negative effect on those two main issues: the refusal to recognize the reality of homosexuality in any culture and the vigilantism that affects everyone if it takes root. Sincerely, Philip A. Bralich, Ph.D.

TaxTheRichDotName 3 years ago

BACKGROUND: The Judiciary Committee of the United States Senate has scheduled a hearing on November 3, 2011, to vote on a bill that would repeal the federal Defense of Marriage Act (known as DOMA). DOMA was passed in 1996 by a wide bipartisan margin and signed into law by then-President Clinton. DOMA defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman and requires federal agencies to apply this definition to all federal policies. Repealing DOMA would allow the Administration to redefine marriage as the union of any two adults and invite the courts to impose this new definition in the states. Thus the repeal of DOMA would have a national impact. Protecting marriage as the faithful and lifelong union of one man and one woman is critical to the common good, and DOMA is essential to protecting marriage. CHURCH TEACHING: Marriage is not only a spiritual good authored by God but it is also a unique and fundamental public good. Its unchangeable definition as the union of one man and one woman is based on sexual difference and the unique complementarity between man and woman, which enables only them to unite as spouses. Every child has the right to be reared and loved by both mother and father, and unparalleled social benefits accrue from the bond of husband and wife. The family, founded upon marriage as the union of a man and a woman, is the key cell of society. Protecting marriage is essential to upholding the common good.

Users Supporting

I support S. 598: Respect for Marriage Act of 2011 because if the supreme court rules that the cases on DOMA have no legal standing. We need something to at least give those who are Legally Married the right to go forth and file equally for taxes and so that States operate with the fiduciary level in regards to taxes and etc.

2 years ago

Users Opposing

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Bill Summary

A bill to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and ensure respect for State regulation of marriage.

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