Statement By President Joe Biden on respect for Marriage Act
Love is love, and Americans should be able to marry the one they admire. The vote of today’s bipartisan group is bringing our United States one step closer to securing this right in law. This legislation, known as the Respect for Marriage Act, will ensure that LGBTQI+ couples and couples of different races are protected and protected legally under federal law.
It will also give more certainty to families affected by the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs. I want to thank the members of Congress. They have led the way and delivered a clear message to ensure that Republicans and Democrats can work together to ensure the freedom of Americans to marry the one they love. I am urging Congress to forward the bill to my desk speedily, and I’ll swiftly take it up for a vote.
A Murkowski Speech regarding Respect for Marriage Act
U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) issued the following statement after she voted for today’s motion to go with the Respect for Marriage Act:
“Today, I voted to start debate on a bipartisan compromise to the Respect for Marriage Act. This bill will ensure the protection of the marriages of thousands of couples across the United States. States will continue to define their marriage standards, and the federal government must recognize legal marriages. No marriage outside of the state can be rejected based on race, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or national origin.
“I have been a long-time supporter of marriage equality and believe that all legal marriages are worthy of respect. I am grateful to my colleagues for enhancing the bill’s protections of religious liberty and the continuing prohibitions against polygamy, which allowed it to pass this week. Every one of us Americans needs respect, dignity, and equal protection under the law.”
BLUNT BACKS RESPECT for MARRIAGE ACT RELIGIOUS LIBERTY Amendment
WASHINGTON U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) issued the following statement regarding the bipartisan amendment to religious liberty in the Respect for Marriage Act:
“This bill has been drafted to accomplish two purposes. Couples legally married within one state enjoy the same rights and obligations in every other state that are provided to and expected of marriages. This legislation also enhances the freedom of religion for all Americans by securing religious groups from reprisals from federal agencies because of their opinions about marriage. It’s more beneficial to allow Congress to make clear the issues rather than allowing federal judges to make these judgments.
Toomey: Respect for Marriage Act Critically Threatens Religious Liberty
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) has released the following statement on his decision on the Respect for Marriage Act.
“For over a quarter of a century, I have supported efforts to stop discrimination based on sexual preference. The Supreme Court has recognized a right to marry a gay man, and its recent majority decision in Dobbs clarified that any fears that the Court could overturn this right are unfounded.’
“While it is true that the Respect for Marriage Act purports to codify the existing rights to marriage between gay and straight couples that aren’t at risk, it goes beyond it in ways that could threaten the freedom of religion. This law would allow people to sue religious groups which provide essential services to our communities. The aim is to force them to change their deeply held views regarding marriage or shut down their doors.
“Faith-based adoption organizations, like Philadelphia’s Catholic adoption center, have been under fire for adhering to their religious beliefs even though there are other adoption agencies in the area which will accept children from couples of the same gender. This law will dramatically increase the possibility of lawsuits designed to force faith-based institutions out of business.
“The Respect for Marriage Act doesn’t provide any significant advantage to marriages between same-sex couples that do not exist. It is a significant threat to the freedom of religion .”
Senator Toomey has a record of support for efforts to stop discrimination based on sexual orientation.
- Participated in the creation of the charter for Allentown, Pennsylvania. Allentown which prohibits discriminating based on gender identity (1996)
- Called for the termination of “Don’t Ask Don’t Ask” for the U.S. military (2010)
- Voted for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) that prohibits discrimination at work due to sexual orientation and gender identity (2013)
- Recommends to President Obama nominate and support the confirmation process as the initial lesbian Latina Judge on the bench of the United States (confirmed 2013)
- Voted in favor of an amendment that is bipartisan and prohibits those who receive grants from the Runaway Homeless Youth Act from discriminating against LGBT youth (2015)
- Introduced with the support of Sen. Markey (D-Mass. ) the bipartisan resolution that the Senate approved in a voice vote, condemning the repression of Chechnya’s men for their sexual gender (2017)
- Led, together with Senator. Wyden (D-Ore.), in a bipartisan letter calling for the U.S. State Department to examine news reports that state officials in Azerbaijan have conducted searches and arrested people on account of their gender identity or sexual orientation identity (2017)
- Led, along with Sen. Markey (D-Mass. ), in the bipartisan letter addressed to President Trump asking the president to continue to denounce the discrimination against lesbians, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals in Chechnya and to hold accountable the Russian as well as Chechen officials accountable for flagrant human rights violations (2018)
Bipartisan Vote on Invoking Cloture Overcomes the Key Legislative Challenge to the Respect For Marriage Act – And demonstrates that the debate over Marriage Equality Is Over
WASHINGTON – WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is the largest lesbian and bisexual, gay transgender, queer and transgender (LGBTQplus) civil rights organization today celebrated the bipartisan decision to invoke cloture on the Respect for Marriage Act (RMA) in the U.S. Senate. This vote needs 60 Senators who vote ‘yes’ overturn a filibuster and permit the Senate to review the law.
The motion was approved 62-37, getting the support of each Senate Democrat and 12 Republicans as a sign of the bipartisan and widespread support for marriage equality. The legislation will ensure the rights, benefits, and obligations associated with marriage as outlined in the federal code. It will also repeal any unlawful Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and declare that all public records, acts, and every state should acknowledge hearings. The law also codifies the right to marry interracially.
HRC is grateful for the leadership of Senator Baldwin and Senator Collins and Senator Portman, Senator Sinema, and Senator Tillis and applauds Senate members for their leadership. HRC also congratulates the Senate on taking this crucial move to push forward this vital legislation. The bill is awaiting the final Senate approbation and is a straightforward majority vote.
The Senate introduced a temporary measure to safeguard marriage equality if the Supreme Court decides to reverse itself on Wednesday. The bill is scheduled for a unanimity vote on Friday.
The Respect for Marriage Act which repeals the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act and requires states with no legal marriage equality to respect marriages of other states, is on the verge of becoming law. The House approved a modified version of this bill back in July. The revised Senate version is expected to be passed through the House again on Friday before going to President Joe Biden, who has promised to sign the bill.
It has bipartisan support from lawmakers. Democratic Senators. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, along with Republicans Susan Collins of Maine, Rob Portman of Ohio, and Thom Tillis of North Carolina, supported the measure with the promise that it would keep religious freedom in place.