House GOPer introduces constitutional ban on same-sex marriage

Rep. Tim Huelskamp's amendment will fail, but it did pick up 28 co-sponsors

By Jillian Rayfield
Published July 1, 2013 8:41PM (EDT)
 Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan.           (Facebook/congressmanhuelskamp)
Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan. (Facebook/congressmanhuelskamp)

In response to the Supreme Court's decision on the Defense of Marriage Act, conservative Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., has introduced a measure that would amend the Constitution so that it defines marriage as between a man and a woman.

The bill, called the Federal Marriage Amendment, is quite short:

Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman.

Last week, the Supreme Court held that Section 3 of DOMA, which defined marriage as between a man and a woman for the purposes of receiving federal benefits, is unconstitutional.

Though there's no chance that Huelskamp's legislation will become law, 28 Republicans have signed on as co-sponsors to it, mostly unsurprising conservatives like Paul Broun, Ga., Trent Franks, Ariz., Louie Gohmert, Texas, Ralph Hall, Texas, Jim Jordan, Ohio, and Steve Stockman, Texas.

The Huffington Post reports:

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) previously cosponsored a similar Federal Marriage Amendment that failed to advance in July 2006. That vote was the last time Congress has voted on such a proposal. Requests for comment from Boehner's and Cantor's offices were not returned.

Some other notable Republicans who voted for the 2006 constitutional amendment aren't currently cosponsoring Huelskamp's bill. Among them are House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.).

Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at

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