Obama backs legislation trading 'Defense' for 'Respect' in marriage law

White House press secretary Jay Carney announced President Obama's support for legislation that would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act.

During Tuesday's White House briefing Carney, said the president supports the Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal DOMA.

"I can tell you that 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. He is proud to support the Respect for Marriage Act, introduced by Sen. [Dianne] Feinstein and Congressman [Jerrold] Nadler," Carney said.

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Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who introduced the legislation, sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will hold hearings on the bill Wednesday.
 
The Obama administration had previously demonstrated indirect support for repealing DOMA, which bars same-sex couples from getting married, by discontinuing funding to defending the federal law, but Obama's support for actual legislation that repeals the law is a more direct sign of his opposition to it.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) praised Obama's decision to support the law.

"I am thrilled by President Obama’s endorsement today of the Respect for Marriage Act, legislation which I introduced in order to repeal the discriminatory and cruel Defense of Marriage Act once and for all," Nadler said in a statement on Tuesday.

"The President’s unprecedented decision to support this timely legislation sends a powerful message to Members of Congress and to the American people that now is the moment to dispense with DOMA and remove this ugly blight from our legal code," Nadler continued.