November 16, 2022

Urgent marriage equality legislation will be considered by full U.S. Senate as soon as tomorrow

(NOVEMBER 16, 2022) WASHINGTON, DC --Today GLAAD, the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, responded to the breaking news that a bipartisan group of 62 U.S. Senators voted to open debate on the Respect for Marriage Act.

GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis responded on Twitter, and below:

"Any Senator who votes against this bill is casting a vote that harms LGBTQ Americans and is out of touch with a bipartisan supermajority of Americans who support the freedom to marry. Since the first legal marriages for same-sex couples took place in 2004, marriage equality has improved the lives of countless LGBTQ people and their families. As extremist politicians push anti-LGBTQ playbooks on the state level and right-wing U.S. Supreme Court justices overturn other legal precedent, the bipartisan Respect for Marriage Act is an opportunity for our leaders to come together to send a message of equal treatment for everyone. All married couples, including same-sex and interracial couples, are worthy of dignity, respect, and equal protection under the law..” 

The Respect for Marriage Act will repeal the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act and ensure that legally married same-sex and interracial couples are entitled to the same protections and recognition from the federal government as all other married couples; and that those marriages will be respected in other states regardless of where a married couple lives or travels. Married couples are guaranteed more than 1,100 protections on the federal level that help keep families together, from spousal benefits to hospital visitation rights to acknowledgment on death certificates and more.

The Respect for Marriage Act was introduced in July by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Diane Feinstein (D-CA), and Susan Collins (R-ME). It passed in a bipartisan victory in the U.S. House of Representatives, with support from 47 Republicans and every Democrat. Earlier this fall, GLAAD joined 400 other organizations in a sign-on letter in support of passage of the Respect for Marriage Act in the U.S. Senate.

Just this week, GLAAD launched a new national digital and broadcast advertising campaign featuring a family that would be affected by passage of the Respect for Marriage Act. Watch the ad and embed it here:

This summer, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas called for the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider legal precedent in cases such Lawrence v. Texas and Obergefell v. Hodges, which respectively decriminalized same-sex relationships and upheld same-sex couples' freedom to marry.

Recent Gallup polls showed a supermajority of Americans in support of marriage equality (June 2022) and increased numbers of Americans coming out as LGBTQ (February 2022)—including the fact that 1 in 5 members of Gen Z now identify as LGBTQ.

GLAAD's Media Reference Guide (11th Edition) can be found here and specific entries on marriage and family are here.

More than 220 anti-LGBTQ bills have been proposed in states around the country in 2022, the majority of which have specifically attacked transgender youth access to health care and school sports teams.