New York Representative Jerrold Nadler
has vowed to continue pushing for repeal of the Defense of Marriage
Act (DOMA), despite recent court rulings against the law.
In comments to gay weekly The
Washington Blade, Nadler, a Democrat, stressed the need for
legislative action against DOMA, which prohibits federal agencies
from recognizing the legal marriages of gay and lesbian couples.
“The recent series of affirmative
rulings in federal court give us a clear indication of where DOMA is
ultimately headed, but we don't know if a Supreme Court decision
would be enough to ensure federal recognition of same-sex marriages,”
Nadler said. “We need to pass the Respect for Marriage Act because
its certainty provision would enable legally married same-sex couples
to receive federal recognition no matter which state they move [to].”
That “certainty provision” gives
gay couples greater flexibility by guaranteeing that the federal
government will recognize their marriages even if they live in a
state where it is not legal.
Jon Davidson, legal director at Lambda
Legal, said that without the provision “it may otherwise take years
to sort out.”
The Respect for Marriage Act would make
it clear “that the federal government would treat same-sex couples
who got married in a jurisdiction that allowed it to be considered
married for all federal purposes,” Davidson
told the paper.
asks Supreme Court to hear New York DOMA challenge.)