Bernard Sanders on Gay Marriage

Last Updated : Nov 08, 2011

Reaction to Don't Ask, Don't Tell Discussion

In October of 2010, Senator Sanders released a press statement noting his support for a Pentagon order to stop discharging gay service members.

 

Vote to Overturn Don't Ask, Don't Tell

In december of 2010, Senator Sanders issued a press statement noting his vote to overturn the Don't Ask, Don't Tell rule.

Voting Record

Constitutional Amendment

In 2006 and 2004, the House voted on adding a constitutional amendment to establish that marriage shall consist of one man and one woman. It sought to ensure that no measure enacted in one state could be enforced in another state. The measures failed in both 2006 and 2004 with the support of most Republicans and the opposition of most Democrats. Bernard Sanders voted against the 2006 constitutional amendment attempt.

Bernard Sanders voted against the 2006 constitutional amendment attempt.

Constitutional Amendment

In 2006 and 2004, the House voted on adding a constitutional amendment to establish that marriage shall consist of one man and one woman. It sought to ensure that no measure enacted in one state could be enforced in another state. The measures failed in both 2006 and 2004 with the support of most Republicans and the opposition of most Democrats. Bernard Sanders voted against the 2004 constitutional amendment attempt.

Bernard Sanders voted against the 2004 constitutional amendment attempt.

Marriage Protection Act of 2004

The Marriage Protection Act of 2004 sought to ensure that no State shall be required to give effect to any marriage between persons of the same sex under the laws of any other State. Although the bill passed the house in roll call 410, it was not voted on in the US Senate. Bernard Sanders voted against the Marriage Protection Act.

Bernard Sanders voted against the Marriage Protection Act.

Defense of Marriage Act

The Defense of Marriage Act Amends the Federal judicial code to provide that no State, territory, or possession of the United States or Indian tribe shall be required to give effect to any marriage between persons of the same sex under the laws of any other such jurisdiction or to any right or claim arising from such relationship. Establishes a Federal definition of: (1) "marriage" as only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife; and (2) "spouse" as only a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or wife. The bill passed the house on roll call 316 in 1996 and eventually became US law. Bernard Sanders voted against the Defense of Marriage Act.

Bernard Sanders voted against the Defense of Marriage Act.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

Session-111; Bill Number-S 424; Uniting American Families Act of 2009 - Cosponsor

Amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to include a "permanent partner" within the scope of such Act. Defines a "permanent partner" as an individual 18 or older who: (1) is in a committed, intimate relationship with another individual 18 or older in which both individuals intend a lifelong commitment; (2) is financially interdependent with the other individual; (3) is not married to, or in a permanent partnership with, any other individual other than the individual; (4) is unable to contract with the other individual a marriage cognizable under this Act; and (5) is not a first, second, or third degree blood relation of the other individual. Defines a "permanent partnership" as the relationship existing between two permanent partners.

Session-111; Bill Number-S 4023; Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010 - Cosponsor

Provides for repeal of the current Department of Defense (DOD) policy concerning homosexuality in the Armed Forces, to be effective 60 days after the Secretary of Defense has received DOD's comprehensive review on the implementation of such repeal, and the President, Secretary, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) certify to the congressional defense committees that they have considered the report and proposed plan of action, that DOD has prepared the necessary policies and regulations to exercise the discretion provided by such repeal, and that implementation of such policies and regulations is consistent with the standards of military readiness and effectiveness, unit cohesion, and military recruiting and retention. Provides that, until such time as the above conditions are met, the current policy shall remain in effect.

Session-111; Bill Number-S 1102; Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act of 2009 - Cosponsor

Provides that a federal employee and his or her domestic partner shall be entitled to benefits available to, and shall be subject to obligations imposed upon, a married federal employee and his or her spouse. Defines "domestic partner" to mean an adult unmarried person living with another adult unmarried person of the same sex in a committed, intimate relationship. Defines "benefits" to include federal health insurance and enhanced dental and vision benefits, retirement and disability benefits, family, medical, and emergency leave, group life insurance, long-term care insurance, compensation for work injuries, and benefits for disability, death, or captivity. Excludes members of the uniformed services from the definition of "employee."Sets forth requirements for filing: (1) an affidavit of eligibility as such a domestic partner, which shall include a certification that the employee and the domestic partner are each other's sole domestic partners and intend to remain so indefinitely; and (2) a statement upon dissolution of such a domestic partnership.

Session-110; Bill Number-S 2521; Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act of 2007 - Cosponsor

Provides that a federal employee and his or her domestic partner shall be entitled to benefits available to, and shall be subject to obligations imposed upon, a married federal employee and his or her spouse.Defines "domestic partner" to mean an adult unmarried person living with another adult unmarried person of the same sex in a committed, intimate relationship. Defines "benefits" to include federal health insurance and enhanced dental and vision benefits, retirement and disability benefits, family, medical, and emergency leave, group life insurance, long-term care insurance, compensation for work injuries, and benefits for disability, death, or captivity. Excludes members of the uniformed services from the definition of "employee."Sets forth requirements for filing: (1) an affidavit of eligibility as such a domestic partner, which shall include a certification that the employee and the domestic partner are each other's sole domestic partners and intend to remain so indefinitely; and (2) a statement upon dissolution of such a domestic partnership.

Session-112; Bill Number-S 598; Respect for Marriage Act of 2011 - Cosponsor

Amends the Defense of Marriage Act to repeal a provision that prohibited a state, territory, possession, or Indian tribe from being required to recognize any public act, record, or judicial proceeding of any other state, territory, possession, or tribe respecting a same sex marriage. Amends the federal rules of construction added by such Act concerning the definitions of "marriage" and "spouse" to provide that, for purposes of any federal law in which marital status is a factor, an individual shall be considered married if that individual's marriage is valid in the state where the marriage was entered into or, in the case of a marriage entered into outside any state, if the marriage is valid in the place where entered into and the marriage could have been entered into in a state. Removes the definition of "spouse" (currently, a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife).

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