November 9, 2011 at 6:54 pm EDT | by Chris Johnson
3 amendments set for DOMA repeal committee vote

Three amendments are set for introduction during a Senate committee vote on Thursday to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act.

The Washington Blade obtained copies of each of the amendments ahead of the scheduled Senate Judiciary Committee vote on the Respect for Marriage Act. An informed source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the deadline for submitting amendments was 5 p.m., so no additional amendments will be offered during the markup.

Of the three amendments, only one is germane: a measure that would strike Section 2 of the Respect for Marriage Act. That portion of the bill enables federal benefits to flow to married gay couples even if they live in states that don’t recognize marriage equality. Under the bill as it currently stands, a couple could marry in a state such as New York, where same-sex marriage is legal and still receive federal benefits if they move to a state such as Michigan, which doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage.

The other two have no relevance to the Respect for Marriage Act, but still can be offered under Senate rules, which allow non-germane amendments to legislation.

One amendment would “prohibit the denial of grants to any entity on the basis that the entity fails to refer individuals to contraception or abortion services.”

Another amendment would “prohibit political appointees from taking any action to direct the selection of any recipient of a federal grant.”

The Blade will have full coverage of Thursday’s committee vote.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

  • see point 21 of the 99% Declaration and be there on 7-4-12

  • That’s all very well, and better than nothing as at least it still would confer federal benefits to those states that offer state-marriage recognition, HOWEVER..this would be a bit of a grey area for Immigration benefits. For example, my partner is a Green Card holder currently residing with me in the UK by means of a re-entry permit (that allows him to maintain his Permanent Residence status whilst living outside the US) because he cannot sponsor me to go with him to the US. He has no physical residence as such because he had to leave the US in order to be with me. Therefore, if the RFMA passed with the amendement to Section 2, which state’s jurisdicition would he fall under in order to be able to sponsor me for the Immigration (federal) benefit as he doesn’t reside in a state at the moment?! He has a USPS PO box in Massachusetts that he uses as his US mailing address but other than that the only official residence he has is in the UK!

    I would suggest that a further amendment is made to the bill that specifically addresses the immigration issue of non-resident petitioners.

    • The issue of non-resident petitioners is likely already addressed in existing immigration law. RFMA would just apply all existing law to same-sex couples so you could probably check with a US immigration attorney and get an answer about how he would file, though it may limit your choices if the amendment striking Section 2 passes. I *think* he would need to be residing in the US to petition you for a Green Card, though, but don’t quote me on that.

  • I’m glad this has at least gone somewhere… But I’m still going to have to keep three sets of books. One for my Federal taxes, one for my state taxes, and one for my wife’s state taxes.

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