The White House announced Tuesday that President Barack Obama was “proud” to support a bill that would end the federal ban on same sex marriage.
The proposed legislation, known as the Respect for Marriage Act, would repeal the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which says that no state is required to recognize same sex marriages performed other states. DOMA also allows undocumented partners in bi-national same sex marriages to be deported.
In February, the Obama administration announced that it would no longer defend DOMA in court.
“The president has long called for a legislative repeal of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, which continues to have a real impact on the lives of real people — our families, friends and neighbors,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said during Tuesday’s press briefing.
“He is proud to support the Respect for Marriage Act, introduced by Senator Feinstein and Congressman Nadler, which would take DOMA off the books once and for all,” he added. “This legislation would uphold the principle that the federal government should not deny gay and lesbian couples the same rights and legal protections as straight couples.”
Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese immediately praised Obama.
“By supporting this legislation, the President continues to demonstrate his commitment to ending federal discrimination against tens of thousands of lawfully married same-sex couples,” Solmonese said in a statement.
The Senate Judiciary Committee will begin hearing testimony on the legislation Wednesday. Republicans have invited Focus on the Family Senior Vice President Thomas Minnery to testify in opposition to the bill.