THE DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE ACT
This bill was enacted after being signed
by the President on September 21, 1996.
Democratic President Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act on September 21, 1996.
One Hundred Fourth Congress of the United States of America
AT THE SECOND SESSION
Begun and held at the City of Washington on Wednesday, the third day of January, one thousand nine hundred and ninety-six. An Act To define and protect the institution of Marriage.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ‘Defense of Marriage Act’.
SECTION 2. POWERS RESERVED TO THE STATES.
(a) IN GENERAL- Chapter 115 of title 28, United States Code, is amended by adding after section 1738B the following:
‘Sec. 1738C. Certain acts, records, and proceedings and the effect thereof
‘No State, territory, or possession of the United States, or Indian tribe, shall be required to give effect to any public act, record, or judicial proceeding of any other State, territory, possession, or tribe respecting a relationship between persons of the same sex that is treated as a marriage under the laws of such other State, territory, possession, or tribe, or a right or claim arising from such relationship.’.
(b) CLERICAL AMENDMENT- The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 115 of title 28, United States Code, is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 1738B the following new item:
‘1738C. Certain acts, records, and proceedings and the effect thereof.’.
SECTION 3. DEFINITION OF MARRIAGE.
(a) IN GENERAL – Chapter 1 of title 1, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
‘Sec. 7. Definition of ‘marriage’ and ‘spouse’
‘In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word ‘marriage’ means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word ‘spouse’ refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.’.
(b) CLERICAL AMENDMENT – The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 1 of title 1, United States Code, is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 6 the following new item:
‘7. Definition of ‘marriage’ and ‘spouse’.’.
Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Vice President of the United States and
President of the Senate.
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