Tagline: Until the Work Is Done
Statement on Final Senate Vote Passing Respect for Marriage Act
November 29, 2022 at 4:34 pm

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 29, 2022

CONTACT: Jorge Reyes Salinas, Equality California
PHONE: (818) 307-7387/MOBILE: (818) 307-7387/EMAIL: press@eqca.org

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate passed the Respect for Marriage Act (H.R. 8404) on Tuesday, November 29 in a bipartisan 61-36 vote, with 49 voting Democrats and 12 Republicans supporting federal marriage equality protections. Specifically, the bill would repeal the discriminatory so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” — passed in 1996 but struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013 (Section 3, U.S. v. Windsor) and 2015 (Section 2, Obergefell v. Hodges) — and require federal recognition of same-sex and interracial marriages nationwide. It would also affirm that states must recognize valid marriage licenses from other states, in case the Court were to overturn Obergefell.

Equality California, the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization, released the following statement from Executive Director Tony Hoang:

“This vote is an affirmation that the United States will stand up and protect the freedom for all Americans to marry the person they love. And it’s a reflection of the fact that for the overwhelming majority of Americans — across political parties, backgrounds and in every corner of the country — the debate over marriage equality is settled.

“The Respect For Marriage Act will provide critical protections to millions of families and children who rely on the benefits and responsibilities of marriage. It will not, however, end all discrimination against LGBTQ+ people across the country or the hateful rhetoric from anti-LGBTQ+ politicians and extremists. This is ever more important to remember as we continue to mourn the lives lost and community shattered in the mass shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs on the eve of Transgender Day of Remembrance. The Senate should continue this bipartisan cooperation and pass the Equality Act to finally provide to LGBTQ+ people across the country with basic legal protections against discrimination.”

“Equality California applauds today’s vote and the critical leadership of Senators Baldwin, Feinstein and Padilla, in getting this bill across the finish line. We urge the House to pass and President Biden to sign the Respect for Marriage Act without delay. And we will continue to fight for full, lived equality for all LGBTQ+ people until the work is done.”

The bill now returns to the House for a final concurrence vote in the Senate’s bipartisan amendments. The original version passed 267-157 with significant bipartisan support in July 2022. The White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy on November 16, indicating the President will sign the bill when it reaches his desk.

*Senator Raphael Warnock is a cosponsor and supporter of the Respect for Marriage Act but was not present for today’s vote, as the U.S. Senate runoff election in Georgia is one week away.

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Equality California is the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ civil rights organization. We bring the voices of LGBTQ people and allies to institutions of power in California and across the United States, striving to create a world that is healthy, just, and fully equal for all LGBTQ people. We advance civil rights and social justice by inspiring, advocating and mobilizing through an inclusive movement that works tirelessly on behalf of those we serve. www.eqca.org


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