Outgoing New Hampshire Rep. Charles
Bass on Thursday became the third House Republican to support repeal
of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the 1996 law which prevents
federal agencies from recognizing the marriages of gay and lesbian
According to gay glossy The
Advocate, Democratic New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler announced
that Bass had signed on as a co-sponsor to his measure, known as the
Respect for Marriage Act.
“I'm thrilled that Rep. Charlie Bass
will be our newest GOP co-sponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act to
repeal DOMA,” Nadler said in a statement. “Rep. Bass is the
second Republican in the past week to endorse equal protection for
all Americans. Though he won't be continuing his service in the next
Congress, his commitment to equality and ending discrimination is
Last week, New York Rep. Richard Hanna
announced his support for the bill. Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
is a longtime supporter.
Representative-elect Ann McLane Kuster,
the Democrat who unseated Bass, supports marriage equality.
With a constitutional challenge to DOMA
headed to the Supreme Court, Nadler has previously argued that his
bill remains relevant. That's because even if the court strikes down
the law, the ruling would only affect states which have extended
marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples. Nadler's bill would
repeal the measure and guarantee that the federal government would
recognize all legal marriages. That is, a gay couple's Connecticut
marriage would be recognized by the federal government even if they
moved to Ohio, where such unions are not legal.