Statement on Cloture Vote for “Respect for Marriage Act” to Protect Same-Sex and Interracial Marriage
(Washington, D.C. — November 16, 2022) The Statement Below Can Be Attributed to Kierra Johnson, Executive Director, National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund:
Today 62 U.S. Senators voted for cloture on the Respect for Marriage Act (RMA), H.R. 8404, a filibuster-proof majority of the U.S. Senate agreeing to move the RMA forward to the Senate floor. The importance of this vote cannot be overstated—it is, in some part, proactive defensive legislation of the conservative majority of the Supreme Court’s clear threats against marriage for same-sex couples.
We support the RMA—a bipartisan compromise—because it would protect millions of same-sex and interracial couples by ensuring their marriages be respected by federal and state governments. It would remove the discriminatory federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) from the books and replace disrespect with respect. The RMA and our families enjoy strong interfaith support, and it is worth noting that this bill would not change existing constitutional religious freedoms.
Majority Leader Senator Charles Schumer has been strongly advocating for this bill, talking openly about his own daughter and her wife and their need for these protections. In her opening statement, Senator Tammy Baldwin (a lesbian) recognized Senator Feinstein, the leader on bill, and Senator Collins, Senator Portman, Senator Sinema (a bisexual woman) and Senator Tillis for their steadfast commitment to preparing the RMA for this week’s historic votes, which we hope will lead to final passage.
A similar bill passed the House by a vote of 267 to 157, with all Democrats and 47 Republicans voting for it. Once the RMA passes the Senate, it must receive a concurrence vote by the U.S. House, which stands ready to receive it.
We note, because we must, that the RMA contains several bipartisan compromises and provisions which do not necessarily align with Task Force Action Fund values, one of which will write into law the federal government’s refusal to respect polygamous marriages. Also, note that the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) does not appear in this legislation.Kierra Johnson, Executive Director, National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund
Cathy Renna, Communications Director, National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund, 917-757-6123, firstname.lastname@example.org