The State Marriage Defense Act of 2014 (S. 2024), introduced last month by Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Mike Lee (R-Utah), affirms a state's right to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman and prevents the federal government from undermining a state's definition of marriage.
The State Marriage Defense Act provides much needed guidance to the federal government regarding how to determine a citizen's marital status when applying the approximately 1,000 federal laws and benefits that reference marriage. In the wake of the June 2013 Supreme Court ruling striking down the part of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that defined marriage between a man and woman for federal purposes, chaos has reigned as some federal agencies are now granting approval of same sex marriage in states that do not recognize such marriages. As a result, the federal government has begun granting certain federal marriage benefits to same sex couples, even when the couple resides in a state that does not recognize their marriage.
This bill directs the federal government to determine marital status by looking to the law of a person's state of residence. This simple rule ensures that the federal government won't undermine the 33 states which have enacted state policy in defense of natural marriage. Again, I urge you to contact your Senators and request their co-sponsorship of this important bill.