Ted Cruz’ Strange Anti-Marriage Equality Bill

Ted Cruz has submitted a bill called the State Marriage Defense Act that is really quite odd. Looking at the actual text of the bill, it’s not at all clear what it actually does. Here’s the only text in the bill that seems to take any action at all (the rest is just a set of findings):

‘‘For purposes of determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, as applied with respect to individuals domiciled in a State or in any other territory or possession of the United States, the term ‘marriage’ shall not include any relationship which that State, territory, or possession does not recognize as a marriage, and the term ‘spouse’ shall not include an individual who is a party to a relationship that is not recognized as a marriage by that State, 18 territory, or possession.’’

*scratches head* I had to look at the press release that Cruz put out about the bill to find out what he’s actually trying to do:

In Windsor, the Supreme Court improperly struck down a federal statute, Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), that defined marriage for purposes of federal law as the union of one man and one woman. At the same time, the Supreme Court reaffirmed the states’ longstanding authority to define marriage.

Unfortunately, the Obama Administration has overruled that state authority, as various federal agencies are recognizing same-sex marriages in states that only recognize traditional marriage, creating what the Windsor decision condemned: “two contradictory marriage regimes in the same state.”

The State Marriage Defense Act remedies this problem by requiring that the federal government defer to the law of the state where a couple resides to determine whether the couple is married for purposes of federal law.

Okay, so here’s what is going on. The Windsor ruling requires the federal government to give full recognition for the purposes of any federal law to marriages that were performed in states where same-sex marriage was legal. Due to that, the Obama administration announced that it would do so and that it would not retract those benefits and recognition if the couple moves to another state where same-sex marriage is not legal. Cruz’ bill would make the federal government withdraw all of the protections and benefits that it previously granted to a gay couple that was legally married if that couple moves to a state that does not recognize the validity of that marriage.

This law won’t pass and would be vetoed immediately if it did, but even if it became law Cruz couldn’t possibly believe that it wouldn’t be struck down by the courts on the basis of Windsor. Which means all he’s doing is pandering to bigots by trying to pass a bill that makes the lives of gay people more difficult. So he’s just being a bigoted douchebag. Anyone surprised?

POPULAR AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Sastra

    IF it becomes law then there is no “if” a gay married couple moves to a different state. Now they won’t! They’ll be afraid to. They’ll all stay put right where they are.

    So no test cases in court. No legal challenges. Cruz has got them where he wants them. At last!

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    It’s nice to know that the Republicans are still laser-focused on the economy. Of course, saying that was unecessary, as Republicans are, by definition, the adult and mature party of important issues, and aren’t dividing America with Identity Politics like the Democrats do.

  • http://drx.typepad.com Dr X

    Modus:

    Cruz born in Calgary to Cubans. Maple Leaf diapers. Explains everything, I think.

  • John Pieret

    This law won’t pass and would be vetoed immediately if it did, but even if it became law Cruz couldn’t possibly believe that it wouldn’t be struck down by the courts on the basis of Windsor.

    Besides, in all likelihood, by the end of June there will no longer be any states that only recognize traditional marriage.

  • http://www.facebook.com/den.wilson d.c.wilson

    So, if this law were to somehow manage to get over all of the seemingly impossible hurdles and actually did become law, the people it would harm the most would be service members who get transferred from state to state pretty routinely.

    Why does Cruz hate our troops?

  • Synfandel

    Cruz born in Calgary to Cubans. Maple Leaf diapers. Explains everything, I think.

    Care to give us a hint as to how?

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Dr X “Modus: Cruz born in Calgary to Cubans. Maple Leaf diapers. Explains everything, I think.”

    Hardly. He still hasn’t produced his long-form Canadian Birth Certificate/Certificat de Naissance Canadien. The one he showed isn’t even printed on an old Leafs jersey!

  • Synfandel

    …and the term ‘spouse’ shall not include an individual who is a party to a relationship that is not recognized as a marriage by that State, 18 territory, or possession.

    Your name is Ralph. You have a neighbour named Jim. You are party to a relationship with Jim (that of being a neighbour, obviously) that is not recognized as a marriage by your state. According to Mr. Cruz’s bill, you are, therefore, not a spouse. How does your wife, Anne, feel about this?

  • cptdoom

    Cruz born in Calgary to Cubans.

    Actually only Rafael’s father was a freedom fighter for Fidel (he didn’t know Fidel was a Communist, wink, wink, nudge, nudge). His mother was born in Delaware.

  • scienceavenger

    Cruz is Exhibit A that Congress has become student council: lots of speeches and posturing, but no one actually does anything.

  • U Frood

    How does it benefit the state that the federal government doesn’t recognizes marriages that the state doesn’t recognize?

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    U Frood “How does it benefit the state that the federal government doesn’t recognizes marriages that the state doesn’t recognize?”

    Because ignoring marriages has historically been a state responsibility. Which is why the states have to use the federal government to force the federal govenment to ignore marriage in states that ignore them, supporting the State’s Rights issue of ensuring that marriages from some states are ignored by other states and that the federal government remains neutral by siding with the states and their ignorance.

  • http://mostlyrational.net tacitus

    trying to pass a bill that makes the lives of gay people more difficult

    Now that they have lost the battle against gay marriage, this is the new MO of the Republican Party. There are already examples of anti-LGBT legislation being proposed around the country in an attempt to roll back LGBT protections. The vindictiveness is quite appalling (but not surprising).

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    tacitus “Now that they have lost the battle against gay marriage, this is the new MO of the Republican Party. There are already examples of anti-LGBT legislation being proposed around the country in an attempt to roll back LGBT protections. The vindictiveness is quite appalling (but not surprising).”

    You Liberals get one civil rights victory, us Conservatives get one. That’s fair, isn’t it? I thought you Liberals liked “fair”!

  • John Pieret

    In related news, the Federal judge who declared Alabama’s SSM ban unconstitutional held a hearing at which one of the recalcitrant probate judges was made a party to the original action and was directly ordered to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. At the time of the hearing, only 23 of 67 counties were doing that, with many counties refusing to issue any licenses at all. As of noon today, the dam had burst and now 41 counties are issuing licenses to all couples.

    http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2015/02/just_in_time_for_valentines_da.html#incart_most-commented_opinion_article

    Funny how that “rule of law” thingie works.

  • John Pieret

    P.S. I forgot to note … the hearing was yesterday afternoon.

  • http://drx.typepad.com Dr X

    Actually only Rafael’s father was a freedom fighter for Fidel (he didn’t know Fidel was a Communist, wink, wink, nudge, nudge). His mother was born in Delaware.

    Ha. Delaware. Biden. Obama. Muslim sympathies, so opposes same-sex marriage.

  • Numenaster

    Yes, they’re using the same playbook the pro-lifers use. If we can’t make illegal, then by God we will make it as difficult as we can for anyone to actually engage in .

  • Numenaster

    Argh, forgot that pointy brackets get parsed. Trying again:

    “If we can’t make [thing we dislike] illegal, then by God we will make it as difficult as we can for anyone to actually engage in [thing we dislike].

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Numenaster “Yes, they’re using the same playbook the pro-lifers use.”

    Previously, Jim Crow.

  • Numenaster

    They’re recycling! We should point that out loudly–it might make heads explode on some of the weaker ones.

  • magistramarla

    Sastra @1

    As d.c.wilson pointed out in #5, military couples often don’t have a choice in which state they are assigned to (I ought to know – I can’t wait to get out of Texas!) and there are a lot of military bases in Texas.

    It makes Cruz and his cronies upset that gay military couples now have rights as soon as they drive onto federal property – the same ones that my hubby and I have always had, such as medical privileges at the base hospital for the spouse, commissary and BX privileges and even the privilege of applying for base housing. As I understand it, those same-sex spouses also have survivor privileges if the military spouse dies and the couple can file jointly on their federal income taxes.

    Since Texas has no state income taxes, there isn’t a whole lot that the state can do to make LGBT military couples lives’ miserable, and that burns Cruz up.

  • skinnercitycyclist

    Synfandel:

    Your name is Ralph. You have a neighbour named Jim. You are party to a relationship with Jim (that of being a neighbour, obviously) that is not recognized as a marriage by your state. According to Mr. Cruz’s bill, you are, therefore, not a spouse. How does your wife, Anne, feel about this?

    Uh…Anne’s train will reach the station 10 minutes before Jim’s, right?

  • marcus

    @ 23 Is this “The Girl on the Train” I’ve been hearing about?