U.S. Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX, 14) introduced a measure in the House Thursday that would not allow same-sex marriages to be recognized by the federal government if the couples reside in states that prohibit gay matrimony.
The Hill reported that 27 other Republicans thus far have signed on to Weber's bill, the State Marriage Defense Act, H.R. 3829. If it were to pass, the measure would mean the status of a same-sex couple's marriage would be different in states that prohibit the unions.
The measure comes in response to the U.S. Supreme Court's decision last June to strike down a portion of the federal 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that defined a “spouse” as “a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.” The decision paved the way for legally married same-sex couples to qualify for the same federal benefits that have been available to married heterosexual couples.
Weber, however, said in a statement that his bill "will simply require federal agencies to look to a person’s legal residence when determining marital status and application of federal law."
"I drafted the 'State Marriage Defense Act of 2014' to help restore the 10th Amendment, affirm the authority of states to define and regulate marriage, [and] provide clarity to federal agencies seeking to determine who qualifies as a spouse for the purpose of federal law," he added. "By requiring that the Federal Government defer to the laws of a person's state of legal residence in determining marital status, we can protect states' constitutionally established powers from the arbitrary overreach of unelected bureaucrats."
Weber noted in his press release that the measure "is supported by Family Research Council, National Organization for Marriage, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, US Conference on Catholic Bishops, Concerned Women for America, and Heritage Action."