FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 21, 2022
Cathy Renna, Director of Communications, National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund, firstname.lastname@example.org, 917-757-6123
HUNDREDS OF DIVERSE LGBTQ+ AND PROGRESSIVE ORGANIZATIONS SIGN LETTER AFFIRMING MARRIAGE EQUALITY, URGING PASSAGE OF “RESPECT FOR MARRIAGE ACT”
WASHINGTON, DC…….A coalition of over 400 national, state and local organizations have signed onto a letter urging passage of the Respect for Marriage Act as soon as possible. The RMA is federal legislation that would require all states to legally recognize same-sex and interracial marriages and officially repeal the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Last week, the Senate decided that the legislation will not be voted on prior to the coming recess and instead would probably not be brought to the floor until after the midterm elections, disappointing LGBTQ+ and other civil rights and faith-based organizations. In July, House lawmakers in passed the Respect for Marriage Act with 47 Republicans joining all Democrats in supporting the measure. Below are statements from several leading LGBTQ+ civil rights organizations as well as the full letter and a link to the list of signatories that represent national, state and local organizations.
Statement from Kierra Johnson, Executive Director, National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund:
“Our LGBTQ families are loving, dignified, whole and beautiful in our abundant racial, ethnic and gender diversity. As LGBTQ people, we choose spouses; have, raise and nurture children; and care for each other and our elders. Our families are inherently worthy of respect and protected by the U.S. Constitution. The Respect for Marriage Act would protect and honor our marriages and eliminate the defunct and discriminatory federal so-called Defense of Marriage Act from the U.S. Code. Because right-wing zealots threaten to try to challenge our marriages – the Senate must pass the RMA as quickly as possible. We urge everyone to contact their two U.S. Senators and urge them to pass the RMA.
Laura M. Esquivel, Vice President, Federal Policy and Advocacy, Hispanic Federation
“Today, more Americans than ever support LGBTQ+ rights and protection from discrimination – with the support from Hispanic Americans highest among all racial and ethnic group (now at 80%, up from 74% in 2015 when same-sex marriage was legalized in Obergefell v. Hodges). Passing the Respect for Marriage Act would profoundly impact Latino/a/x/e communities, who identify as LGBTQ in higher numbers than their white and black counterparts (11%), and in higher numbers among all age groups over 35. Notably, support among Hispanic Catholics has risen since 2015 from 75% to 84%. The recent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade proved that the conservative majority Supreme Court is willing to take away a right that is widely supported by the public and underscores the need to codify marriage equality. At Hispanic Federation, we believe all people, regardless of their race, sexual, or gender orientation, should have the freedom to marry the person they choose and be able to live and build their lives together, knowing that the government recognizes, and respects our marriages. Congressional leaders must move quickly to ensure that marriage equality remains the law of the land. We urge fair-minded Senators to work across the aisle, represent the will of their constituents, and vote yes for the Respect for Marriage Act to ensure that LGBTQ+ people and their families are respected and protected.”
Brian K. Bond, Executive Director of PFLAG National:
“At a time when LGBTQ+ people, their families and allies are being targeted for harm in communities across the country, Senators had a chance to firmly assert that every couple deserves the freedom to marry and that LGBTQ+ families deserve respect. A vote for the Respect for Marriage Act is not about politics; it’s about our families and our values as a community and as a nation. Especially at this moment, it is disheartening that some Senators held back a vote because they are unwilling to publicly support something as fundamental as love.”
Mary L. Bonauto, Civil Rights Project Director, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD)
“Marriage is about love, mutual care, and commitment and no one should need to fear their marriage and their family won’t be protected and respected. In the wake of recent statements from the Supreme Court raising questions about marriage and other rulings, Congress has the opportunity to provide millions of Americans with the necessary reassurance of continued protections for their marriages and family relationships wherever they live, travel, or relocate. The Respect for Marriage Act as introduced by Senator Baldwin and Senator Collins codifies what is now the status quo – respect by states and the federal government for validly celebrated marriages without regard to the sex, race, ethnicity, or national origin of the couple. It has broad bipartisan support because Americans from all walks of life support and rely on that idea for themselves and their loved ones. We are grateful to the many Senators on both sides of the aisle who have already expressed their support for the bill and hope the full Senate will act soon to pass it and send it to the President’s desk.”
Joni Madison, Human Rights Campaign Interim President:
“For so many couples, the chance to stand up and declare their love in front of friends and family is a moment of unparalleled joy. Knowing that union will be equally recognized by the government is critically important – it’s the foundation for building a life together and having that recognized by society at large and accessing the legal rights and responsibilities that come with marriage. LGBTQ+ people deserve to be able to marry the ones they love, a strong majority of the population supports that right, and now is the time for our senators to do their part and pass the Respect for Marriage Act.”
The letter can be found in full, along with a list of signatories can be found through the button below: