Down With Doma

Elise Kaplan
2 min read
Down With DOMA
Sen. Jeff Bingaman
Share ::
Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D) joined Sen. Tom Udall (D) in calling for the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act.

This move comes in part after the
American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico collected more than 1,400 signatures supporting the end of the act. The DOMA defines marriage as “a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife.” It further specifies: “The word ‘spouse’ refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.” Because of this federal law, states are not obligated to recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere.

Bingaman voted in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, but he will co-sponsor the 2011 Respect for Marriage Act to repeal it. “I now believe it was a mistake for the federal government to legislate in this area … ,” he said on the Senate floor earlier this month when he announced his decision. The federal government should not be able to override state laws, he added, and married couples should be treated the same, regardless of sexual orientation.

Twenty-seven senators co-sponsored the bill.

In January, Attorney General Gary King said in his legal opinion, same-sex marriages from other states should be recognized in New Mexico. However, Gov. Susana Martinez opposes gay marriage. State courts or the Legislature have not weighed in.
1 2 3 746