Bipartisan bill protects marriage equality
Congressman Brian Higgins, a member of the LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus, announced the final approval of the Respect for Marriage Act (H.R.8404). The bill, cosponsored by Higgins, will constitutionally recognize same-sex marriage, and formally repeal the Defense of Marriage Act.
Higgins said, “Our nation was founded on the basic principles of freedom and equality. This historic legislation is an important step in delivering a more equitable and inclusive future. I am proud to help deliver this long over-overdue action to protect the rights of same-sex couples to the president’s desk.”
Higgins’ team said, “In 2015, the Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling, guaranteeing same-sex couples the fundamental right to a legal marriage. After the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Justice Clarence Thomas signaled that the same reasoning used to overturn this case could be used in the future to threaten other fundamental rights, including marriage equality.
“This legislation gives same-sex and interracial couples additional security that they will receive equal protection under the law as all other married couples – as required by the Constitution. The bill will also repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which held that states were not required to recognize same-sex marriage. Additionally, it prohibits anyone acting under the color of state law from denying full faith and credit to an out-of-state marriage on the basis of sex, race, ethnicity or national origin.”
The bill is supported by a number of national organizations, including the ACLU, Center for American Progress, Equality Federation, Family Equality, Freedom for All Americans, GLAD, Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Legal, National Black Justice Coalition, National Center for Lesbian Rights, National Women’s Law Center and PFLAG.
The bill originally passed the House in July 2022 and was then passed by the Senate at the end of November. It will now be delivered to President Joe Biden’s desk to be signed into law.