American Foundation for Equal Rights

Marriage News Blog

GOP Support Grows for DOMA Repeal

Outgoing Rep. Charlie Bass (R-New Hampshire) became the third Republican congressman to support legislation that would repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

The proposed Respect for Marriage Act would repeal the 1996 law that prevents the federal government from recognizing the legal marriages of gay and lesbian couples living in states with marriage equality. The legislation, which will be reintroduced next year, is also supported by Reps. Richard Hanna (R-New York) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Florida)

Next year a federal constitutional challenge to DOMA  brought by the ACLU will also be heard at the U.S. Supreme Court alongside AFER’s challenge to Prop. 8. A final decision is expected by the end of June 2013.

In March, over 100 Republican New Hampshire legislators were critical to  defeating a bill that would have repealed the state’s popular marriage equality law. The final vote was  211-116. A majority of House Republicans voted in favor of  retaining the right of gay and lesbian couples to get married in the state.