Howard Brown Health applauds the Passage of the Respect for Marriage Act by the U.S. Senate
Recently, the U.S. Senate voted to pass the Respect for Marriage Act! The legislation now moves back to the House of Representatives for approval, then onto the President’s desk. The Respect for Marriage Act passed the Senate with strong bipartisan support, mirroring strong support for same-sex marriage among the American public. According to Gallup data, 71% of Americans support legal same-sex marriage, a new all-time high.
The Respect for Marriage Act ensures federal recognition of same-sex and interracial marriages, and requires all states to give full faith and credit to all validly celebrated marriages. While limited, this is still a historic step forward in protecting the rights of all Americans, especially if the Supreme Court decides to overturn the 2015 Obergefell decision. Importantly, the Respect for Marriage Act would not mandate all states to allow same-sex marriage if Obergefell was overturned. In that case, the Respect for Marriage Act would require states that do prohibit same-sex marriage to still recognize all marriages conducted in other states where it is legal.
The passage of the Respect for Marriage Act is a necessary defensive measure to ensure the Supreme Court does not roll back the right to marriage equality, and it is particularly crucial for those in states where same sex marriage would not be legal were it not for Obergefell. We applaud the US Senate for passing the Respect for Marriage Act and urge for the bill to be quickly signed into law. At the same time, more must be done to protect LGBTQ+ people more broadly. We have seen a dangerous surge in political attacks and acts of violence against LGBTQ+ communities, and we urge Congress to take strong action to protect LGBTQ+ people, and especially transgender and non-binary people, from these relentless attacks.