WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) today voted to pass and send to President Biden’s desk the Respect for Marriage Act (H.R. 8404) to enshrine same-sex and interracial marriage protections in federal law. This historic bill would formally repeal the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act and provide additional legal protections to ensure equal marriage protections for all.
“Today’s vote is a major step forward for the freedom and dignity of LGBTQ+ people – and all Americans. As a cosponsor and strong supporter of this legislation, I join the millions of Americans celebrating the true, meaningful progress that this legislation represents,” said Congressman Sarbanes.
He continued, “In 2012, Maryland became one of the first states to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples by popular vote. Ten years later, Congress has now built on that powerful message and voted to extend these marriage rights across the country. I will continue working to advance full equality for LGBTQ+ Americans and build a more just, inclusive future.”
In its decision overturning Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court signaled its willingness to strike down other settled precedents, including those affecting marriage equality. Enactment of the Respect for Marriage Act would preemptively defend these constitutionally protected rights.
Specifically, this legislation would:
Formally repeal the unconstitutional and discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which has already been invalidated by the Supreme Court;
Require the federal government to recognize a marriage between two individuals if the marriage was valid in the state where it was performed; and
Guarantee that valid marriages between two individuals are given full faith and credit, regardless of the couple’s sex, race, ethnicity or national origin.