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house Bill H.R. 824

Should States Have The Right To Ignore Federal Law When Defining Marriages?

Argument in favor

States should be make their own legal definitions about marital relations, as it is their historic and religious right.

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03/13/2015
Heck yes. No one has an intrinsic, natural right to marry a person of the same sex. Marriage between one man and one woman is an institution of natural law and no government has a right to change this institution. Federalizing marriage out of a faulty notion about human rights is a mistake and an exercise in tyranny.
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V's Opinion
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06/15/2015
No government should have the right to define marriage. It is a legal contract or a religious commitment between the consenting individuals. If some government body MUST have a say, it should be the state as it is closer to the values of a smaller population.
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Joseph's Opinion
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05/30/2015
My personal opinion of same sex marriage doesn't change the 10th amendment to the U.S. Construction witch has been reversed by public opinion and this administration. This bill would insure that it goes back to the way it was supposed to be.
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Argument opposed

States sovereignty and freedom should be preserved — but no state should have the right to discriminate against the LGBTQ community.

UNAVoterNC's Opinion
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02/27/2015
The US Constitution says that full faith and credit should be given to other states -- while a state may have their own marriage definition, they cannot fail to recognize a valid marriage from another state. The 14th Amendment also recognizes certain fundamental rights, such as marriage, that must be given equal protection -- therefore the Constitution gives a right to marriage over any existing state laws.
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RichWill's Opinion
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02/24/2015
The Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution requires states to adhere to Federal Law whenever there is a conflict. For a state to ignore this clause in any case would be an unconstitutional violation of the Constitution we hold so dear.
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DonaldTrump's Opinion
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11/06/2015
"Ultimately, gay marriage is now the law of the land." [nj.com]
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties
      Committee on the Judiciary
    IntroducedFebruary 10th, 2015

What is House Bill H.R. 824?

This bill aims to protect State laws that regulate and define marriage from federal definitions. The bill allows States to use their own definition of “marriage” and “spouse” when applying federal law.

In a nutshell, the bill would affect same-sex couples that wed in states that allow same-sex marriage but live in states that prohibit same-sex marriage. Under the bill, States do not have to recognize same-sex marriage license performed out of state.

Impact

LGBTQ couples living in states that prohibit same-sex marriage; States that ban same-sex marriage.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 824

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX) explained in a press release that the bill would:

"help restore the 10th Amendment, affirm the authority of states to define and regulate marriage, as well as, provide clarity to federal agencies seeking to determine who qualifies as a spouse for the purpose of federal law. 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."

However, many oppose the bill on the grounds of supporting equality. As Stephen Peters at the Human Rights Campaign explains, the bill would allow states to remove benefits for same-sex couples:

"The bill would callously strip federal rights and benefits from married same-sex couples – like federal employee health benefits, military spouse benefits, immigration rights, and many others – simply because of the state in which they currently live."

Peters continues:

"This legislation would make our nation’s already-unfair patchwork of laws even more burdensome for same-sex couples, and undermine the promise of equal treatment embodied in the historic Windsor decision."

Of Note: Currently, 36 states recognize same sex marriage. The bill was written in the wake of United States v. Windsor, the Supreme Court case that overturned the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). DOMA limited the federal definition of “marriage” and “spouse” to only be applied to heterosexual couples. This bill hopes to produce a similar effect.

The bill uses Windsor to corroborate the idea that states should remain sovereign when determining the definition of marriage. The first section of the bill states that Windsor did not render a federal definition of marriage, meaning states still have the right to decide.

Media:

(Photo Credit: Flickr user WalterPro4755)

AKA

State Marriage Defense Act of 2015

Official Title

To amend chapter 1 of title 1, United States Code, with regard to the definition of "marriage" and "spouse" for Federal purposes and to ensure respect for State regulation of marriage.

    Heck yes. No one has an intrinsic, natural right to marry a person of the same sex. Marriage between one man and one woman is an institution of natural law and no government has a right to change this institution. Federalizing marriage out of a faulty notion about human rights is a mistake and an exercise in tyranny.
    Like (13)
    Follow
    Share
    The US Constitution says that full faith and credit should be given to other states -- while a state may have their own marriage definition, they cannot fail to recognize a valid marriage from another state. The 14th Amendment also recognizes certain fundamental rights, such as marriage, that must be given equal protection -- therefore the Constitution gives a right to marriage over any existing state laws.
    Like (30)
    Follow
    Share
    The Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution requires states to adhere to Federal Law whenever there is a conflict. For a state to ignore this clause in any case would be an unconstitutional violation of the Constitution we hold so dear.
    Like (24)
    Follow
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    "Ultimately, gay marriage is now the law of the land." [nj.com]
    Like (13)
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    No government should have the right to define marriage. It is a legal contract or a religious commitment between the consenting individuals. If some government body MUST have a say, it should be the state as it is closer to the values of a smaller population.
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    The federal government needs to protect individuals from tyranny of the majority. Whether that individual is James Meredith or a gay couple, the Feds need to keep states from denying equal protection.
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    We pledge allegiance to this Nation and the Contitution upon which it is founded. No State should be above the law of the Nation, nor should individuals decide on another Citizen's right to participate fully in society.
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    Marriage is marriage. Whether one believes that LGBT people have the right to marriage or not, the Federal Constitution guarantees that rights conferred in one state must be recognized by other states. Equality is not dependent on geography.
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    People should have the freedom to marry whomever the choose. Stop this ridiculous discrimination and bigotry. It does nothing but divide our wonderful country.
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    No, states should not be able to define marriage and deny rights to certain groups of citizenry...just as states in the South (ultimately) weren't left to their own devices during the abolition of slavery.
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    BECAUSE CONSTITUTION YOU FUCKTARDS
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    My personal opinion of same sex marriage doesn't change the 10th amendment to the U.S. Construction witch has been reversed by public opinion and this administration. This bill would insure that it goes back to the way it was supposed to be.
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    Because what's right is right, and what's wrong is wrong. Right and wrong are not respective to individuals or states. Also, what is done in one state would have to be honored by another state. This won't work. When the federal government says that marriage is between one man and one woman, this rules out polygamy, incest, pedophilia, homosexuality, and bestiality; and that's the way it should stay, whatever state you're in. if the federal government says otherwise, then we know how far from truth we have fallen. We'll have to fight.
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    This issue is a states rights issue. My state has marriage defined in our state constitution because We the People voted it that way!
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    The civil status of marriage is clearly distinguished from the religious institution of marriage. Religious rights are preserved under federal law, as are civil rights of same-sex couples. State law should not be allowed to undermine this.
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    If you cannot follow the principles of the founding fathers, that we are one Nation Under God and understand that this country was founded on Christian principles you need an education. The last 50 years seem to have have brought us to become One Nation from Hell as we have condoned immoral behavior and murder. Redefining of principles as has occurred shows a collapse of Christian teaching and belief. Disgusting!
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    Read your Bible. It is the only authority we will recognize on the subject.
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    We should stick with marriage as defined one man and one woman
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    Marriage is a union between a an and a woman according to GOD'S LAW!
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    You can't talk about empowering the states then pick and choose on these type of issues.
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