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Initially introduced in May 1996, DOMA passed both houses of Congress by large, veto-proof majorities and was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in September 1996. §115), laws evaluating financial aid eligibility, and federal ethics laws applicable to opposite-sex spouses. A sympathetic reporter heard several gay men raise the issue in 1967 and described it as "high among the deviate's hopes".
DOMA's passage did not prevent individual states from recognizing same-sex marriage, but it imposed constraints on the benefits received by all legally married same-sex couples. The issue of legal recognition of same-sex marriage attracted mainstream attention infrequently until the 1980s.
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On July 12, 1996, with only 65 Democrats and then Rep. Steve Gunderson (Republican - Wisconsin), in opposition, 342 members of the U. House of Representatives—224 Republicans and 118 Democrats—voted to pass DOMA. The White House released a statement in which Clinton said "that the enactment of this legislation should not, despite the fierce and at times divisive rhetoric surrounding it, be understood to provide an excuse for discrimination, violence or intimidation against any person on the basis of sexual orientation".
Democratic Senators voted for the bill 32 to 14 (with Pryor of Arkansas absent), and Democratic Representatives voted for it 118 to 65, with 15 not participating. Years later, he said that he did so reluctantly in view of the veto-proof majority, both to avoid associating himself politically with the then-unpopular cause of same-sex marriage and to defuse momentum for a proposed Federal Amendment to the U. On Hormel's account, Clinton had been the first President to advocate gay rights, push for AIDS funding, support gay and lesbian civil rights legislation, and appoint open LGBT people to his Administration.
Georgia Representative Bob Barr, then a Republican, authored the Defense of Marriage Act and introduced it in the House of Representatives on May 7, 1996.
brought questions of inheritance and death benefits to many people's minds." Within the movement for gay and lesbian rights, a debate between advocates of sexual liberation and of social integration was taking shape, with Andrew Sullivan publishing an essay "Here Comes the Groom" in The New Republic in August 1989 arguing for same-sex marriage: "A need to rebel has quietly ceded to a desire to belong." In 1993, a committee of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America released a report asking Lutherans to consider blessing same-sex marriages and stating that lifelong abstinence was harmful to same-sex couples.I believe marriage is an institution for the union of a man and a woman.This has been my long-standing position, and it is not being reviewed or reconsidered." The bill moved through Congress on a legislative fast track and met with overwhelming approval in both houses of the Republican-controlled Congress.The Act's congressional sponsors stated, "[T]he bill amends the U. Code to make explicit what has been understood under federal law for over 200 years; that a marriage is the legal union of a man and a woman as husband and wife, and a spouse is a husband or wife of the opposite sex." Nickles said, "If some state wishes to recognize same-sex marriage, they can do so".He said the bill would ensure that "the 49 other states don't have to and the Federal Government does not have to." In opposition to the bill, Colorado Rep.
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