On Thursday, U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced S. 2024, the State Marriage Defense Act, which allows states to set their own standards as to what defines marriage and protects the states from having the federal government encroach on that territory.
Here's yet another example of the Federal government (in this case the GOP) offering up a solution to a problem that was in fact created by the GOP's solution to a problem that didn't actually exist.
The now defunct Federal DoMA was an unconstitutional and unnecessary piece of garbage legislation that was destined to achieve the exact opposite of what it was sold to us as achieving, and history has proven that to be correct. That piece of garbage legislation effectively granted the Federal government the power to define marriage "for Federal purposes", a power that the Federal government lacks because the Constitution assigns it to the States via the Tenth Amendment of the Constitution.
Defining marriage is not delegated to the United States (A.K.A. the Federal government) and not prohibited to the States, so it falls on the States to define what constitutes marriage, and that then becomes the working definition of a marriage for Federal purposes.
But that wasn't enough for the GOP congressional delegation, so they decided to engage the Federal government, and crafted legislation which in effect had the Federal government inviting the States to violate the Full faith and Credit Clause of the U.S. Constitution if the States shared the Congress' distaste for a sister State's sovereign and constitutional decision to define what constitutes a marriage within its own boundaries. That Clause is absolute (Full faith and credit shall be given
in each state to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state), and while Congress may legislate the manner that those public acts will be "proved" and their interaction between States, they lack the Constitutional power to legislate a whole sale exemption to the Constitution.
In fact, the Federal DoMA was a glaring violation of the principles of Federalism and limited government that constitute the cornerstone of Conservative ideology, since it violates the concept of State sovereignty that the Constitution seeks to protect when it limits what the Federal government may do via a strict listing of its enumerated powers. The Constitution does not delegate to the United States the power to create a categorical exception to the Full Faith and Credit Clause, thereby inviting states to disregard the official acts of other states, but the GOP did exactly that, and called it "conservatism".
Now, here we are, talking up a solution to a problem that did not exist prior to the enactment of legislation to address an issue that as already resolved.
We don't need this legislation.
We just need to abide by the Constitution.