This bill would effectively repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), thereby allowing states, territories, and Indian tribes to recognize same-sex marriages.
Under S. 29, in any case where marital status is a factor under federal law, a couple would be considered married if their marriage is valid in the State where they were wed. With current DOMA restrictions, many States — including those with some benefits for same-sex relationships — have restricted their recognition of marriage to heterosexual couples. Additionally, many states will not recognize a same-sex union from other U.S. jurisdictions.
The federal rules regarding the definitions of “marriage” and “spouse” would be amended so that a person would be considered legally married if:
the marriage is considered valid by the state in which they were married.
the marriage was entered into outside of the couple's state of residence, the marriage would be considered valid so long as it was entered into in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage.
The definition “spouse” — which is currently defined as a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or wife — would be removed.