Some state lawmakers pushing for same sex marriage ban nationwide

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — Some Alabama lawmakers are asking their congressional counterparts to ban same sex marriage nationwide.

The state constitution already makes it illegal here and a bill to change that failed this session.

State Rep. Patricia Todd is married to a woman and her marriage is not recognized by the state. She believes that will change.

“It’s going to take a court decision to change our current constitutional ban and that’s going to happen, like it or not,” said State Rep. Patricia Todd, (D) – Birmingham.

House Joint Resolution 192 urges U.S. Congress to adopt the Marriage Protection Act which defines marriage as one man and one woman.  One of the sponsors, independent State Representative Richard Laird, says it wasn’t meant to be politically correct. Laird says It was an effort to reinstate the marriage amendment that the Supreme Court struck down.

“And basically I just feel that this is a Bible based country. It was founded on Bible principles, moral principals basically marriage between a man and a woman, not a man and a man. And I just don’t think it ought to be a part of public policy to recognize marriage between a man and a man and a woman and a woman,” said Rep. Richard Laird, (I) – 37th -District

“And it was just a resolution that we passed in the House which by the way did not pass out of the Senate. They ran out of time last night.”

US Attorney General Eric Holder has announced that same sex couples will be able to receive the same federal benefits of any other married couple even in states that don’t recognize same sex marriage.

Federal spousal benefits include things like health care coverage and being able to file joint federal income tax returns.

At the state level things are much more complicated.

“Even in Alabama. If I’m a military personnel my marriage is recognized and I can have health insurance and all the benefits of other married people. Step outside of that military base, I do not,” said Rep. Todd.

Equality for Alabama says same sex couples are at a big disadvantage in state court.

“You’re not on the death certificate. You’re not the surviving spouse for legal proceedings, for wrongful death lawsuits, for transfer of assets without tax complications or ability to be challenged in the court.” Patrick Scarborough, Vice-Chair, Equality for Alabama.

Right now 17 states and the District of Columbia recognize same sex marriages.

Equality of Alabama issued a statement saying that HJR 192 is unlikely to succeed because it would take a minimum of 34 states to vote in favor of redefining marriage to ratify a constitutional amendment.

Copyright 2014 WIAT-CBS42

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