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Federal Marriage Equality Protections

By Charlotte Robinson, July 20, 2022

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the Respect for Marriage Act (H.R. 8404) by a bipartisan vote of 267-157. The bill repeals the disgraceful Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2012 & codifies additional federal legal protections for the marriages of gay & lesbian couples, transgender people & interracial couples. This comes after the Supreme Court’s radical rightwing majority overturned Roe v. Wade proving that no right is safe especially with Justice Clarence Thomas’ concurring opinion clearly threatening other fundamental rights including the right to marriage equality. The consequences of undermining or eliminating marriage equality as we all know would simply be dire for couples, families & their children across the country. Imani Rupert-Gordon, NCLR Executive Director stated, “NCLR applauds the House of Representatives for removing the mean-spirited & unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act from our nation’s statutes. While the U.S. Supreme Court struck down DOMA a decade ago, today’s action by the House to repeal it sends a strong message that our nation must move beyond targeting LGBTQ people for political gain. In this moment of political polarization, it is heartening to see bipartisan support for the fundamental principles of equality & security for all families. We urge the Senate to follow suit & swiftly pass the bipartisan Respect for Marriage Act & send it to President Biden’s desk for his signature.” We applaud House lawmakers especially Representatives Jerry Nadler (D-NY), David Cicilline (D-RI) & Mondaire Jones (D-NY) as well as Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) & Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) for championing this crucial legislation. Now we urge the Senate to advance & pass this bill with the necessary urgency. Then let’s get the Equality Act finally passed. 

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