On a largely party-line vote, the House of Representatives approved an amendment reaffirming the Defense of Marriage Act as part of the defense appropriations bill, reports the Washington Blade.
Lawmakers voted in favor of the amendment, which was introduced by Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), by a margin of 248-175 as part of the fiscal year 2012 defense appropriations bill. The amendment would prohibit the use of Pentagon funds in contravention to the Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages.
The measure comes on the heels of guidance the Navy issued in April stating military facilities could be used for same-sex marriages in states where it’s legal and chaplains could officiate over these ceremonies, if they so chose, in their official capacities. The Navy has since rescinded this guidance and said further review is necessary.
The anti-gay Virginia Foxx made headlines in 2009 when she slammed the proposed federal hate crimes bill on the House floor, describing Matthew Shepard's muder as a "hoax" and not a hate crime. More on Foxx at Pam's House Blend ...
Six Republicans voted against the amendment: Reps. Judy Biggert (R-Ill.), Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.), Mario Diaz-Balart, Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.), Nan Hayworth (R-N.Y.) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.).
Additionally, 19 Democrats voted in favor of the amendment: Reps. Jason Altmire (D-Pa.), John Barrow (D-Ga.), Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.), Dan Boren (D-Okla.), Ben Chandler (D-Ky.), Jerry Costello (D-Ill.), Mark Critz (D-Pa.), Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Gene Green (D-Texas), Tim Holden (D-Pa.), Larry Kissell (D-N.C.), Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.), James Matheson (D-Utah), Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), Nich Rahall (D-W.V.), Mike Ross (D-Ark.) and Heath Shuler (D-N.C.).
The largely symbolic vote comes at the same time DOMA is being challenged in the federal courts ... and after the Administration announced it would no longer defend a key provoision of DOMA in challenges.
The House version of the defense authorization bill—passed in May—also contained similar anti-gay amendments including a DOMA re-affirmation. Those were later stripped in the House-Senate conference.