Following the landmark Supreme Court ruling that repealed parts of the Defense of Marriage Act, Sens. Mark R. Warner and Timothy M. Kaine, D-Va., joined 40 of their Senate colleagues to introduce the Respect for Marriage Act., which would repeal DOMA entirely and provide equal treatment of all married couples nationwide.
The measure is sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Ca., a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-NY, the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice.
“The Supreme Court made clear yesterday what many of us already believed: the federal government should accord equal treatment to all marriages, including the rights and benefits that come with marriage,” Warner said. “Repeal of key provisions of DOMA was a monumental step, but now we need to finish the job. This bill will clean up numerous federal laws already on the books to ensure that the concepts embraced in the Supreme Court ruling are consistent across the federal government,” he said.
Kaine called the Supreme Court’s ruling an “enormous victory for thousands of committed couples and their families across the country” and a “major step” toward marriage equality. In ruling DOMA unconstitutional, Kaine said, the court has affirmed the principle that every legally married couple has the same right to equal benefits and responsibilities.