WASHINGTON —The U.S. Senate voted to advance the Respect for Marriage Act (H.R. 8404) Wednesday, with 50 Democrats and 12 Republicans voting to end debate on the bill. The bipartisan legislation would repeal the discriminatory so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” — passed in 1996 and struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013 — 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, if the U.S. Supreme Court were to overturn Obergefell. In July, the bill passed the U.S. House with massive bipartisan support in a vote of 267-157.
Equality California, the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization, released the following statement from Executive Director Tony Hoang:
“After Roe v. Wade was overturned, the Supreme Court made clear that they cannot be relied upon to respect their own precedent or protect our civil rights – spreading fear and uncertainty within our community, disrupting our lives and the peace of our loved ones. Today’s bipartisan Senate vote reflects what 70% of Americans agree with – that all loving, committed couples have the right to be respected and treated equally under federal law.”
“With this vote, LGBTQ+ and interracial families will no longer have to live in fear or uncertainty. Equality California applauds the vote today to protect federal marriage equality across the country — one that cannot be easily overturned, regardless of political control. This is a vote and victory the LGBTQ+ community will not forget, but much more needs to be addressed for the well-being of our community. Equality California will continue fighting to protect transgender youth, advocate for life-saving gender-affirming care, and will not tolerate anti-LGBTQ+ attacks.”
“We urge 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.”
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