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House Dems seek to repeal marriage law

House lawmakers are poised to introduce legislation that would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

The law, which was signed by President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonLate night hosts targeted Trump over Biden 97 percent of the time in September: study A closing argument: Why voters cannot trust Trump on healthcare On India, the US must think bigger MORE in 1996, defines marriage as between a man and a woman, and prevents same-sex married couples from receiving the same federal benefits as heterosexual married couples.

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Reps. Jerold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne Baldwin Senate Democrats call for ramped up Capitol coronavirus testing Baldwin calls for Senate hearing on CDC response to meatpacking plant coronavirus outbreak Democrats demand answers from Labor Department on CDC recommendations for meatpacking plant MORE (D-Wis.), and Jared Polis (D-Colo.) -- who is the first openly gay member elected to the House -- plan to introduce a bill this week that would scrap DOMA. Baldwin is also gay.

In the 13 years since the bill was signed into law, four states – Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, and Vermont – have recognized same-sex marriages. In 2010, New Hampshire will likewise change its marriage laws to recognize same-sex marriage.

President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaJacobin Editor-at-Large: Valerie Jarrett's support for Citigroup executive's mayoral campaign 'microcosm' of Democrats' relationship with Wall Street Obama to stump for Biden in Philadelphia On India, the US must think bigger MORE during his 2008 campaign promised a full repeal of the DOMA.

In June, Obama announced a package of domestic partnership benefits for federal workers. However, the president did not extend full health benefits to same-sex couples, drawing strong criticism from gay leaders.

Defending his position of extending only certain benefits to same-sex couples, Obama said, “Unfortunately, my administration is not authorized by existing federal law to provide same-sex couples with the full range of benefits enjoyed by heterosexual couples.”

Obama added, “That’s why I stand by my long-standing commitment to work with Congress to repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act…It’s discriminatory, it interferes with states’ rights, and it’s time we overturned it.”

The three House lawmakers are scheduled to unveil their bill at a press conference on Tuesday.