U.S> Rep. Sharice Davids, D-3rd Dist., applauded bipartisan passage of legislation she introduced to enshrine marriage equality in federal law.
The Respect for Marriage Act passed both the U.S. House and Senate with bipartisan support and now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law.
Davids joined her colleagues to introduce the Respect for Marriage Act in July following Justice Clarence Thomas’ concurring opinion in Dobbs v Jackson, in which he stated that the Supreme Court “should reconsider” previous rulings codifying same-sex marriage protections. The Respect for Marriage Act repeals the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and provides additional legal protections from attempts to undermine marriage equality at the state level.
“After the Dobbs decision, people across Kansas and the entire country felt fear and anxiety as many of our individual freedoms were called into question or outright stripped away,” Rep. Davids said. “That includes marriage equality for same-sex couples, which was explicitly threatened by Justice Thomas. I’m proud to have introduced legislation that will help lessen that fear and provide stability to so many families, and I applaud the bipartisan group of lawmakers who joined me to stand up for our rights.”
The Respect for Marriage Act will:
• Repeal DOMA. The Supreme Court effectively rendered DOMA inactive with its landmark decisions in United States v. Windsor and Obergefell v. Hodges, but it did not repeal it, meaning the unconstitutional and discriminatory law still officially remains on the books. With passage of the Respect for Marriage Act, DOMA will finally be repealed.
• Enshrine Marriage Equality for Federal Law Purposes. The Respect for Marriage Act requires, for federal law purposes, that an individual be considered married if the marriage was valid in the state where it was performed, even if that state is not where the individual lives permanently. This gives same sex and interracial couples additional certainty that they will enjoy their Constitutional right to equal treatment under federal law—regardless of where they live.
• Provide Additional Legal Protections from Individuals Seeking to Undermine Marriage Equality While Acting Under Color of State Law. The bill prohibits any person acting under color of state law from denying full faith and credit to an out-of-state marriage based on the sex, race, ethnicity or national origin of the individuals in the marriage, provides the Attorney General with the authority to pursue enforcement actions, and creates a private right of action for any individual harmed by a violation of this provision.
The Respect for Marriage Act is strongly supported by leading national organizations including: ACLU, Center for American Progress, Equality Federation, Family Equality, Freedom for All Americans, GLAAD, Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Legal, National Black Justice Coalition, National Center for Lesbian Rights, National Center for Transgender Equality, National LGBTQ Task Force, National Women’s Law Center, and PFLAG National.
- Information from Rep. Davids’ office