Cruz introduced the State Marriage Defense Act Thursday 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.” Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, is the bill’s only co-sponsor.
“It 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,” said a statement issued by the authors.
“I support traditional marriage. Under President Obama, the federal government has tried to re-define marriage, and to undermine the constitutional authority of each state to define marriage consistent with the values of its citizens,” Cruz said in a statement. “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.”
The Republican senator from Texas is the second congressman to introduce anti-gay marriage legislation this year. Congressman Randy Weber, R-Friendswood, filed the State Marriage Defense Act of 2014 in January to require the federal government to issue benefits only to same-sex couples who live in states with marriage equality. After June’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down the Defense of Marriage Act, the federal government recognizes all same-sex marriages for benefits despite where a couple resides.