Respect for Marriage Act


December 8th, 2022

Statement from Mony Ruiz-Velasco, Deputy Director of Equality Illinois, the state’s LGBTQ+ civil rights organization, on final passage by the U.S. House of Representatives of the Respect for Marriage Act: 

The bipartisan vote by the U.S. House today in support of the Respect for Marriage Act is an important step towards ensuring protections for LGBTQ+ families. We thank the members of the Illinois congressional delegation who voted for this initiative.

This bill (1) repeals the archaic federal statutory definition of marriage as one only between a man and a woman, (2) ensures that the federal government will provide equal benefits to all married persons, so long as the marriage was valid at the time and in the place where it was officiated, and (3) requires all states to recognize valid marriages from other states, regardless of the couple’s sex, race, ethnicity, or national origin. We thank U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives for acting to safeguard some of the protections of marriage equality in this country, particularly ensuring equality in the provision of federal benefits for all married persons.

While the Respect for Marriage Act provides these protections against any decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that would erode marriage equality across the country, we note this legislation would not stop a state from denying same-sex couples the freedom to marry within that state after such a judicial decision. There is much more the U.S. Congress can and must do to protect the right to privacy, bodily autonomy, and the liberty to form our own families without discrimination.

The bill now goes to President Biden for his promised signature.

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