Senator Ted Cruz from Texas and his faithful sidekick Utah Senator Mike Lee have introduced a bill that would effectively “unmarry” any same-sex couple who resides in a marriage inequality state.
The Obama administration has chosen to adopt a “place of celebration” standard for recognizing same-sex marriages – if the wedding took place in a state where it is legal, that marriage remains valid no matter where the couple lives. The new Tea Party legislation would require that the federal government recognize only the marriages of couples who live in a state where such unions are legal.
In other words, if you marry in Maryland, and then move across the border to Virginia, in the eyes of the feds you are no longer married, nor are you eligible for any federal benefits you were collecting in Maryland.
“I support traditional marriage.” Senator Cruz told reporters. “Under President Obama, the federal government has tried to re-define marriage, and to undermine the constitutional authority of each state to define marriage consistent with the values of its citizens. The Obama Administration should not be trying to force gay marriage on all 50 states. We should respect the states, and the definition of marriage should be left to democratically elected legislatures, not dictated from Washington. This bill will safeguard the ability of states to preserve traditional marriage for its residents.”
The bill is a senate version of one Texas Rep. Randy Weber sponsored in the House last year after the Supreme Court’s historic ruling unraveled the (preposterously named) Defense of Marriage Act, requiring the federal government to recognize the legal marriages of same-sex couples.
While there is little chance the bill would pass the Democratic senate, it is a reminder of how fragile the status of same-sex marriages are. A new Republican president could order his administration to use a “place of residency” standard at any time, even without the Cruz-Lee bill ever receiving a vote, taking away the rights of same-sex couples in states that don’t recognize their marrriages with the stroke of a pen.
On the hopeful side? Since the DOMA decision, five federal courts have heard challenges to state laws banning same-sex marriage: Utah, Oklahoma,Ohio, Kentucky and Virginia. State courts in New Jersey and New Mexico also heard same-sex marriage cases.
The score? Marriage Equality – 7. Marriage Inequality States – 0.
Image via Ted Cruz’s Facebook page
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