Congresswoman Wilson Votes to Protect Marriage Equality Under Federal Law

Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson (FL-24) voted to send the Respect for Marriage Act to President Biden’s desk.  This landmark legislation takes bold steps to defend marriage equality. The Respect for Marriage Act repeals the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act, protects marriage equality for federal purposes, and provides additional protections at the state level.

Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson
Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson

“The Respect for Marriage Act is a bold step towards marriage freedom and equality. Together, we are sending a clear message:  we stand united in upholding marriage equality for all Americans,” stated Congresswoman Wilson. “I am incredibly proud to cast my vote to repeal DOMA, enshrine equal protection for married couples, and honor the dignity and rights of all Americans because we deserve the right to marry who we love. Love wins.”

The Supreme Court’s unconscionable Dobbs decision has threatened other hard-won rights and freedoms. In his concurring opinion, Clarence Thomas attacked marriage equality by calling on the Court to reconsider its Obergefell decision which upheld marriage equality.

The Respect for Marriage Act will take several steps to protect same-sex and interracial marriages:

  • Repealing the “Defense of Marriage Act”: While the Supreme Court has effectively voided DOMA, this unconstitutional and discriminatory federal law still remains on the books.  The Respect for Marriage Act will repeal this statute once and for all.
  • Enshrining Marriage Equality Into Federal Law: This legislation will uphold married couples’ right to equal protection in all areas covered under federal law, such as Social Security, tax filings and veterans’ benefits.
  • Barring Discrimination by State Officials: This legislation prohibits state officials from denying recognition of an out-of-state marriage on the basis of sex, race, ethnicity or national origin.
  • Passed by the House earlier this year, the Respect for Marriage Act was amended and advanced by the Senate last week.  With today’s vote in the House, the bill heads to the President’s desk for his signature.

The Respect for Marriage Act is strongly supported by leading advocacy organizations. They include the ACLU, Center for American Progress, Equality Federation, and Family Equality. In addition, 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.

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