Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX) Introduces Bill Barring Feds from Recognizing Same-Sex Marriages if State Bans Them

Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX) introduced a heinous piece of of anti-gay conservative federal legislation today called "The State Marriage Defense Act of 2014" which would bar federal agencies from recognizing same-sex marriages in the states that have laws banning them.

WeberSaid Weber in a statement:

“The 10th Amendment was established to protect state sovereignty and individual rights from being seized by the Federal Government. For too long, however, the Federal Government has slowly been eroding state’s rights by promulgating rules and regulations through federal agencies. I drafted the “State Marriage Defense Act of 2014” to help restore the 10th Amendment, affirm the authority of states to define and regulate marriage, as well as, provide clarity to federal agencies seeking to determine who qualifies as a spouse for the purpose of federal law. By requiring that the Federal Government defer to the laws of a person’s state of legal residence in determining marital status, we can protect states’ constitutionally established powers from the arbitrary overreach of unelected bureaucrats.”

Writes the hate group Family Research Council in a press release lauding Weber:

The State Marriage Defense Act is a response to the Supreme Court's 2013 decision in United States v. Windsor. The Court struck down as unconstitutional Section 3 of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defined marriage for all purposes under federal law as the union of one man and one woman. The plaintiff in Windsor had entered into a marriage with a person of the same sex that was recognized as legal by the state in which she lived, so the Court said that the federal government should also recognize the relationship as a marriage.

However, the Court was silent on the status of same-sex couples who may have obtained a civil marriage in one state, but who live in a state that recognizes only marriages of a man and a woman. The Obama administration has implemented guidance for some federal agencies that ignores the marriage laws of states that define marriage between a man and a woman. At the same time, other federal agencies defer to the laws of a person's state of legal residency to determine marital status for federal purposes. The State Marriage Defense Act would address this administrative chaos with a simple rule that tells the federal government to respect state determinations of the marital status of their residents when applying federal law.

Naturally, FRC's Tony Perkins is thrilled, and had Weber on his radio show today.

Jeremy Hooper at Good As You notes that Weber said on the show that he has not even read the Windsor decision:


  1. says

    The new Republican hobby: desperately proposing ever more irrational and unconstitutional laws to try to put the marriage equality horses back in the barn. Meanwhile, wasting taxpayer money on what will prove to be futile efforts, unless he measures success by what makes Tony Perkins happy.

  2. Zlick says

    Fine. Good. Let it pass for all I care. 50-State Equal Marriage Rights affirmed by SCOTUS would be all but guaranteed the next week, because they just LOVE their rulings being ignored by legislators.

    So, unless this is a constitutional amendment you’re proposing, sweetie, it’s still unconstitutional. Idiot.

  3. Tundra4 says

    I wonder if the United States will always be this sort-of dirty mixed bag for gays; some of it ok but most of it indigestible.
    To have state sanctioned discrimination against you in the name of “love” and “family”.
    To not know if your marriage will be undone any given day, or not know if or where your marriage actually will be recognized. It’s sick.
    And to have to compare the US to Russia et al. to make it seem like less an inhospitable place for gays…
    It makes me sick. My heart goes out to American gays.

  4. Gregory in Seattle says

    Keep it up, GOP: the more emphatically you put your bigotry and hate on public display, the more people will recognize it as bigotry and hate, and the more likely it becomes that the US Supreme Court will strike down marriage bans entirely.

  5. Jay says

    This bigot Rep. Randy Weber has better chances succeeding from the Union than passing his piece of garbage. Unequal treatment under the law is Unconstitutional.

  6. ian says

    showboating. he’s fully aware it’s unconstitutional, but the bigoted base he’s trying to appeal to are not, or they don’t care. he’ll score some points with the tea baggers for his “noble” failure, which is the point. plus, when it’s stuck down as unconstitutional, if it even passes, which i doubt, the far right can screech about those librul “activist” judges again.

  7. Eric says

    We shouldn’t just ignore this kind of thing because it’s unconstitutional. Plenty of laws are passed that are eventually found unconstitutional, but finding them unconstitutional can take decades.

    Also, this kind of action by the GOP doesn’t just turn people off of the GOP and make them sign up to be Democrats- it turns them off of politics in general. This was one of the great things that Obama latched on to- all of the people that wanted “change” and “hope” that he was different. Unfortunately, polls show that his actions since he’s been in office have soured most of those people that he lured back into politics, and now they are bitter again.

  8. TampaZeke says

    Yeah, we hear ya. We got it. It all started going “South” (no pun intended) when the pesky feds went stickin their noses into the states’ rights to keep slaves. Then they had the audacity to usurp states religious liberty when they forced Utah to outlaw polygamy. Then it forced states to let black people vote and go to school with white people and eat at pubic lunch counters and drink from water fountains and ride at the front of buses. Then they REALLY stepped over the line and forced states to allow “colored” people to marry good, pure white folks. It has really gotten out of hand! Representative is going to be the savior to all things good and pure and holy and 19th Century that ‘Murka should be! Hallelujah! Praise Jesus!

  9. says

    @Eric: In the unlikely event this law passes, it won’t take decades to find it unconstitutional, unless by decades you actually mean minutes. In decades people will think it nuts that gay people once couldn’t marry in all 50 states, and this dude will be an ugly little footnote.

  10. Rich says


    It took 17 years for the Supreme Court to reverse itself and void sodomy laws (1986-2003).It also took 17 years to declare even part of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. At the age of 70, I’m not sure that I can afford that kind of patience.

  11. Bill says

    @Rich : I wouldn’t worry about it in this case. Even if the house somehow passes it, the senate won’t but if the senate somehow does, our current president will surely veto it.

    And after some recent Supreme Court decisions regarding DOMA, it is unlikely that the Supreme Court would say it is constitutional.

    Here’s what would happen to it before the president or the courts even get a chance to see it:

  12. JonnyNYNY2FLFL says

    I’ve lived in several states & feel no particular loyalty to any of them. I consider myself an American citizen only.

    In the 18th century when our nation was being formed out out various colonies, it may have made some sense to allow different regions more autonomy to self-govern based on the culture and history of their area. After all, there was great distance that separated them from Washington & no electricity or instant communication to connect them.

    Now we’re stuck with a system that gives ND & WY the same number of senators as NY & CA. The lower populated states will never relinquish their grip on power.

    “American Exceptionalist” now contains great inequalities the will plague us for centuries to come. This proposed law is an example.

  13. simon says

    Nothing new here. The GOP lunatic fringe just wants to push back after each court defeat.
    After the DOMA case, some tried to reintroduce the constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. After the recent Utah case, they are doing it again. It will eventually frizzle out like the last one.

  14. mark says

    If a Catholic family follows their religious directive to eat fish on Friday and a Protestant family eats meat they can still get together and have a civil conversation even tho they may not ever dine together on Fri. nites.

    Yet, somehow the conservative church goers for whom marriage is reserved for a man and a woman and the liberal churchgoers for whom there is marriage equity are overly politicized about what happens in the eyes of their God.

    It would be interesting therefore to hear from a variety of religious people who can still meet in a public space and have a civil conversation.

    At this point you may even be able to sell a newspaper with a story like:

    “Marital Enemies still Getting Along despite Differences.”


  15. Chevytexas says

    He’s up for re-election. Nothing Texan about it, smacks of Iowa or Minbesota. Seems we already had a civil war iver states’ rights being trumped by federal law. His crazy neighbor, Rep. Stockman, isn’t up for re-election.

  16. disgusted american says

    …and again for the Umpteenth time – any Gay republicans out there – YOu should be ashamed of yourselves….and should be SHUNNED by the LGBT community!

  17. Leslie says

    Weber: “protect state sovereignty and individual rights from being seized by the Federal Government.”

    Has he ever read the 1996 federal DOMA where the federal government said, regardless if any state recognizes same-sex marriage, the federal government would not.

    Reportedly he has not read the Windsor decision (6 months ago) either.

    But then, again, he’s from Texas. Do they still teach reading in Texas schools?

  18. says

    @Rich, if you live in a non-equality state I understand your impatience. You’ve waited too long. That’s a real threat to gay couples. But this law isn’t a real threat: it’s obviously, laughably unconstitutional out of the gate, hot air posing as a threat.

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