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    This page contains bill sponsorships in the Senate and House. Bill sponsorships indicate the topics that legislators are most interested in, and spend the most time on.

15_S023 on Jan 6, 2015

Bill Sponsorship: H.R.238 & S.23
Source: Copyright and Marriage Equality Act
Congressional Summary: Revises the definition of "widow" concerning the transfer of a copyright to an author's spouse following the author's death. Declares that an individual is the widow of an author if they were legally married at the time of the author's death, even if they could not marry in their home state. (Currently, only the author's surviving spouse under the law of the author's domicile at the time of death is considered a widow.)

Supporters reasons for voting YEA: (by Human Rights Campaign, hrc.org): This bill would fix wording in the Copyright Act that currently prevents some same-sex couples from receiving inheritance rights. Because of restrictions in current law, some agencies--including the Copyright Office and the Social Security Administration--do not recognize same-sex couples living in states without same-sex marriage equality.

Background: (Wikipedia.com on "U.S. v. Windsor"): Edith Windsor and Thea Spyer, a same-sex couple residing in New York, were lawfully married in Canada, in 2007. Spyer died in 2009, leaving her entire estate to Windsor. Windsor sought to claim the federal estate tax exemption for surviving spouses. She was barred from doing so because the IRS said the exemption only applies to heterosexual couples under the federal Defense of Marriage Act, and compelled her to pay $363,053 in estate taxes. The Supreme Court rules 5-4 to overturn DOMA as unconstitutional. [This bill applies that Supreme Court ruling to copyright law].

Opponents reasons for voting NAY: (PopVox blog postings on H.R.238 & S.23):

  • OK-3: My concern is that our government believes that just a few more laws and a few more bills and freedom will be perfected. Stop shoving immoral activity down our throats and telling us it's normal and lawful.
  • WV-1: I oppose H.R. 238 because it's not necessary.
  • KY-3: I oppose S.23 because if the spouse remarried, they aren't a widow/widower anymore.
Also see equivalent House bill H.R.238


    Participating counts on VoteMatch question 3. Question 3: Comfortable with same-sex marriage Scores: -2=Strongly oppose; -1=Oppose; 0=neutral; 1=Support; 2=Strongly support.
  • Topic: Technology
  • Headline: Apply copyright inheritance to same-sex couples (Score: 2)
  • Headline 2: Apply copyright inheritance to same-sex couples (Score: 2)

    Participating counts on AmericansElect question 7.
  • Headline: Apply copyright inheritance to same-sex couples (Answer: C)
  • Headline 2: Apply copyright inheritance to same-sex couples (Answer: C)
  • AmericansElect Quiz Question 7 on Social Issues: When you think about the rights of same-sex couples, which of the following is closest to your personal opinion?
    • A: Same-sex couples should not be allowed to marry or form any kind of civil union
    • B: Same-sex couples should be allowed to form civil unions, but not to marry in the traditional sense
    • C: Same-sex couples should be allowed to marry legally, with all the same rights as traditional marriages
    • D: Unsure


  • Key for participation codes:
  • Sponsorships: p=sponsored; o=co-sponsored; s=signed
  • Memberships: c=chair; m=member; e=endorsed; f=profiled; s=scored
  • Resolutions: i=introduced; w=wrote; a=adopted
  • Cases: w=wrote; j=joined; d=dissented; c=concurred
  • Surveys: '+' supports; '-' opposes.



Democrats participating in 15_S023

Tammy Baldwin s1oWI Democratic ChallengerJan 9, 2015
Barbara Boxer s1oCA Democratic Jr Senator (retiring 2016)Jan 6, 2015
Chris Coons s1oDE Democratic Jr SenatorJan 6, 2015
Richard Durbin s1oIL Democratic Sr SenatorJan 7, 2015
Al Franken s1oMN Democrat/DFL Jr SenatorJan 6, 2015
Patrick Leahy s2pVT Democratic Sr Senator
Ed Markey s1oMA Democratic ChallengerJan 6, 2015
Jeanne Shaheen s1oNH Democratic Sr SenatorMar 12, 2015
Sheldon Whitehouse s1oRI Democratic Jr Senator, previously attorney generalJan 6, 2015



Republicans participating in 15_S023



Independents participating in 15_S023



Total recorded by OnTheIssues:

Democrats: 9
Republicans: 0
Independents: 0


















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