Defense of Marriage Act
(Sept. 21, 1996)
Original Text (with clerical amendments) available at the Government Printing Office.
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE
This Act may be cited as the "Defense of Marriage Act."
SECTION 2. POWERS RESERVED TO THE STATES.
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.
SECTION 3. DEFINITION OF MARRIAGE.
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.