President Obama is endorsing a bill to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act. Introduced by Democratic senators Dianne Feinstein, Patrick Leahy and Kirsten Gillibrand, the Respect of Marriage Act would repeal the law, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman and effectively bans same-sex marriage on a federal level. The bill comes well after Obama instructed the Department of Justice to stop enforcing DOMA. National Journal reports that press secretary Jay Carney announced the president's stance on the bill in a Tuesday afternoon press conference:
The president has "long called for a legislative appeal for the so-called Defense of Marriage Act which continues to have a real impact on families," White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters at Tuesday's briefing. He said the president "is proud to support the act, which would take the Defense of Marriage Act off the books for once and for all."
Pro- and anti-gay marriage groups are scheduled to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee to answer questions about the new bill on Wednesday.