Citing states' rights, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) has introduced an anti-gay marriage bill, asking  Congress to amend U.S. law "with regard to the definition of 'marriage' and 'spouse'".

According to The Huffington Post,  the Texas Republican introduced the bill on Wednesday asking the Senate to amend U.S. law "with regard to the definition of 'marriage' and 'spouse' for Federal purposes and to ensure respect for State regulation of marriage."

Stating that he supports “traditional marriage", Cruz said “The Obama Administration should not be trying to force gay marriage on all 50 states. We should respect the states, and the definition of marriage should be left to democratically elected legislatures, not dictated from Washington. This bill will safeguard the ability of states to preserve traditional marriage for its residents.”

In a statement accompanying the bill, Cruz and the bill's only co-sponsor, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), claimed their bill "will ensure the federal government gives the same deference to the 33 states that define marriage as the union between one man and one woman as it does to the 17 states that have chosen to recognize same-sex unions."

A federal judge yesterday struck down a Kentucky law banning the recognition of same-sex marriages in other states citing the Supreme Court's ruling in United States v. Windsor which stated that the federal government must recognize legal marriages between those of the same sex.

Following the Supreme Court ruling in June, the federal government has allowed gay married couples to file jointly on federal tax returns regardless of state residence and has permitted  surviving spouses of gay married couples to collect Social Security benefits, along with any other benefits that were previously only available to heterosexual marriages.

Currently seventeen states recognize same-sex marriage, with dozens of same-sex couples filing federal challenges to their states’ same-sex marriage bans.