Senator Chuck Grassley and Representative Steve King (IA-05) spoke out this week for preserving the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act, which states that the federal government recognizes only marriages between one man and one woman. The Senate Judiciary Committee held a July 20 hearing on S. 598, the Respect for Marriage Act. That bill would repeal part of the DOMA so that for purposes of federal law, "an individual shall be considered married if that individual's marriage is valid in the state where the marriage was entered into." Six states and the District of Columbia recognize same-sex marriages.
Grassley is the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, and his opening statement in yesterday's hearing asserted that "George Orwell would have marveled" at calling S. 598 the "Respect for Marriage Act." In Grassley's view, the bill would undermine the institution of marriage. He denied that Congress passed DOMA in 1996 "to express disapproval of gay and lesbian people." He asserted that supporters of DOMA now face threats and intimidation that amount to an "unacceptable" "chilling of First Amendment rights."
Grassley invited King to testify before the committee, and in his statement, King asserted that recognizing same-sex marriages would devalue the institution of marriage. Saying "you can't choose who you love" could be used to justify incestuous or polygamous unions, King told the senators. He also argued that the DOMA is consistent with the will of the American people, who have voted in 31 states to restrict legal marriage to one man and one woman. (More recent opinion polling has shown growing support for same-sex marriage rights.)
Complete article at Bleeding Heartland : http://t.co/JF3RqyS