This bill was reintroduced in the House as H.R. 197 by Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY-10) and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL-27) on January 7, 2015 and in the Senate as S. 29 by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) on January 6, 2015.

Summary

The Respect for Marriage Act (RMA) repeals Section 2 of DOMA and provides same-sex couples with certainty that federal benefits and protections would flow from a valid marriage celebrated in a state where such marriages are legal, even if a couple moves or travels to another state. 

PFLAG Talking Points

  • Americans support extending protections to same-sex couples.The system of federal benefits has always been based on marriage, and while some same-sex marriages will receive benefits where they live provided that their marriage is legal where celebrated, others will not. This would grant the same rights to same-sex married couples to be recognized to the extent provided by law where they live.
  • SCOTUS struck down Section 3 of DOMA on June 26, 2013. RMA would repeal DOMA’s Section 2. This bill repeals DOMA in its entirety and ensures that all married couples have certainty that federal benefits and protections are portable from a marriage valid where performed, even if the couple moves or travels.
  • Allows States to Determine Legal Relationships. The bill does not require states that have not yet enacted legal protections for same-sex couples to recognize a marriage. Nor does it obligate any person, state, locality, or religious organization to celebrate or license a marriage between two persons of the same sex. This legislation only requires the federal government to equally apply its policy of looking to the states to determine what legal relationships are eligible for federal benefits.
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