Ryan, Paul
Kate Dwyer 202-225-3031

House Votes to Protect Marriage and States’ Rights, Prevent Power Play by Federal Judges

Washington, Jul 22 -

WASHINGTON –  Wisconsin’s First District Congressman Paul Ryan today voted in favor of H.R. 3313, legislation that prevents unelected, lifetime-appointed federal judges from ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act (current law) that provides that no state shall be required to accept same-sex marriage licenses granted in other states.  This legislation passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 233-194.

The legislation provides that federal courts cannot strike down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and take away from the states the option Congress gave them to reject same-sex marriage licenses issued in another state if they want to.  Nothing in this bill denies anyone the right to bring any claim they could otherwise bring.  H.R. 3313 simply provides that cases involving the section of DOMA that protects states’ rights must be brought in state courts. 

“I believe fundamentally that marriage is between a man and a woman.  Although I support the constitutional amendment to protect marriage, that process cannot continue at this time given the failed attempt by the U.S. Senate to advance the amendment.  Meanwhile, states could be forced to accept same-sex marriages because of a few judges in Massachusetts.  This legislation protects each state’s right to protect marriage,” Ryan said.

“This legislation upholds states’ rights under current law, preventing federal judges from unilaterally overturning that law which could force states to accept same-sex marriage licenses issued in other states.  Too frequently, federal judges wind up making law from the bench through their rulings.  That’s not the proper role for them, and I’m glad the House has stepped forward to defend states’ rights,” Ryan said.  

Through today’s vote, the House of Representatives upheld its responsibility to act as a check on federal judges that overstep their bounds.