Patrick Leahy on Gay Marriage

Last Updated : Sep 07, 2010

Discussion for UAFA

 

Campaign Website Statements

Uniting American Families Act. Senator Leahy is the lead sponsor of the Uniting American Families Act, which would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to treat the foreign national same-sex partner of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident in the same way that it treats a spouse for family based visas. Currently, the federal definition of marriage in the Defense of Marriage Act prohibits even legally married same-sex partners of legal immigrants from being included in spousal visa provisions. This measure would promote equality under Federal law by recognizing all families for immigration benefits, regardless of sexual orientation. At least 16 countries recognize same-sex couples for immigration purposes: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Israel, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

 

Voting Record

2006 Constitutional Amendment

In 2006 the Senate voted on adding a constitutional amendment which defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman, and ensured to no state would be capable of conferring marital status on a union other than a man or a woman. Patrick Leahy voted against the 2006 amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman.

Patrick Leahy voted against the 2006 amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman.

2004 Constitutional Amendment

In 2004 the Senate voted on adding a constitutional amendment which defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman, and ensured to no state would be capable of conferring marital status on a union other than a man or a woman. Patrick Leahy voted against the 2004 amendment to define marriage as one man and one woman.

Patrick Leahy voted against the 2004 amendment to define marriage as one man and one woman.

Defense of Marriage Act

In 1996, the Defense of Marriage Act passed the Senate with the support of 100% of the Republicans and roughly 2/3 of the Democrats. The bill defined marriage as a union between 1 man and 1 woman, and stated that no jurisdiction would be required to honor the marriage betweeen two men or two women which was granted in another jurisdiction. Patrick Leahy voted in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act.

Patrick Leahy voted in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

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

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-109; Bill Number-S 3955; Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act of 2006 - Cosponsor

Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act of 2006

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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