U.S. Representative John Hostettler (R-Indiana) reintroduced the Marriage Protection Act (H.R. 1100) on Thursday, seeking to protect the Defense of Marriage Act from further challenges at the federal level.
The House of Representatives passed the bill last July by at 233-194 vote. The Marriage Protection Act restricts federal courts from hearing cases against the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). DOMA allows states to not recognize out-of-state marriage licenses that violate their state laws. The reintroduced bill also prevents the hearing of challenges against the Marriage Protection Act by federal courts.
Since the passage of the Marriage Protection Act last year by the House, constitutional marriage amendments have been approved by 13 states. Currently, legislators in several states are debating marriage protection amendments to define marriage explicitly as a union between a man and a woman. Approval by state legislators will move the amendment to a public vote before changes can be made to the constitution.
Pro-family groups applauded the reintroduction of the Marriage Protection Act. Concerned Women for America (CWA), the nations largest public policy womens organization, praised Rep. Hostettlers bill.
The director of CWAs Culture and Family Institute, Robert Knight, stated, The American people are increasingly aware that marriage needs permanent protection from radical redefinition.
These victories have spurred grassroots activists in other states to begin amending their constitutions, he said, referring to the state amendments. Kansas has slated a vote on its marriage amendment on April 5, with Illinois, Texas, Virginia, South Dakota, and Maryland working on their own versions.
Passage of the Marriage Protection Act requires a simple majority vote in both Houses of Congress and presidential approval.