Sunday, January 12, 2014

Texas Politician Introduces "State Marriage Defense Act" to Congress

Rep. Randy Weber of Texas introduced the "State Marriage Defense Act" earlier this week, which would require federal agencies to review a person's state of residence when determining marital status for eligibility of federal benefits:
The 10th Amendment was established to protect state sovereignty and individual rights from being seized by the Federal Government. For too long, however, the Federal Government has slowly been eroding state’s rights by promulgating rules and regulations through federal agencies. I drafted the “State Marriage Defense Act of 2014” to help restore the 10th Amendment, affirm the authority of states to define and regulate marriage, as well as, provide clarity to federal agencies seeking to determine who qualifies as a spouse for the purpose of federal law. By requiring that the Federal Government defer to the laws of a person’s state of legal residence in determining marital status, we can protect states’ constitutionally established powers from the arbitrary overreach of unelected bureaucrats.
HR3829 has 27 co-sponsors. Surprisingly, nobody from Iowa -- including Rep. Steve King -- have co-sponsored this bill.

Of course, this would (or should) have wider effects for married Americans besides us gays. After all, not every state allows first cousins to legally marry. But every U.S. state recognizes the marriages of heterosexual first cousins when they move from one of those 27 states. That means that -- if this bill actually passes -- a first cousin marriage from Alabama should be void if that same married couple later moves to Rep. Weber's district in Texas.

I've been assured elsewhere (here and here, for example) that this bill is pretty much doomed to go nowhere.

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