ACLU Applauds Senate Passage of Respect for Marriage Act
WASHINGTON – In a historic step forward for the rights of LGBTQ families, the U.S. Senate passed the Respect for Marriage Act on a bipartisan vote.
The bill ensures federal recognition of marriage regardless of the sex, race, ethnicity, or national origin of either spouse and requires all states to respect valid marriages entered into in other states. The bill does not, however, codify the right of same-sex couples to marry in all 50 states, as the Supreme Court held in 2015 in Obergefell v. Hodges is constitutionally required. It would not prevent states from outlawing or otherwise restricting marriage by same-sex couples in the event Obergefell is overturned.
“For the last seven years, LGBTQ families across the country have been able to build their lives around their right to marriage equality,” said James Esseks, director of the ACLU’s LGBTQ & HIV Rights Project. “The Respect for Marriage Act will go a long way to ensure an increasingly radical Supreme Court does not threaten this right, but LGBTQ rights are already under attack nationwide. Transgender people especially have had their safety, dignity, and health care threatened by lawmakers across the country, including by members of this Congress. While we welcome the historic vote on this measure, members of Congress must also fight like trans lives depend on their efforts because trans lives do.”
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