President Obama is officially backing legislation that would repeal the 1996 Defense Of Marriage Act, which prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriage even for couples married under state law.
The President has “long called for a legislative appeal for the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, which continues to have a real impact on families,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters at Tuesday’s briefing.
The Respect for Marriage Act, sponsored by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), “would take the Defense of Marriage Act off the books for once and for all,” and Obama is “proud” to support it, Carney said.
The Obama administration in February announced that the Department of Justice will no longer defend DOMA in court.
The Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Leahy, will hold a Wedneday hearing on the bill. Advocates for pro- and anti-gay marriage groups are scheduled to testify before the panel.