November 29, 2022

Marriage equality legislation will ensure protections for same-sex and interracial couples under federal law

(November 29, 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 U.S. Senators passed the Respect for Marriage Act.

The bill will now return to the U.S. House for final passage before going to President Joe Biden, who has stated he will sign the bill into law.

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

“Today’s bipartisan passage of the Respect for Marriage Act in the U.S. Senate sends a message of equal protection, dignity, and respect for all same-sex and interracial couples who want to share in the love and commitment of marriage. As so many LGBTQ people face uncertainty and harm on the state level and extremists on the Supreme Court vow to reconsider the landmark Obergefell decision, this victory will provide comfort and security to millions of people and their families. This vote also shows that our leaders, regardless of political affiliation, can get behind common sense legislation that moves our country forward and affirms all families. But our work is not done: Congress must bring the Equality Act to a vote, which would prohibit LGBTQ discrimination in nearly every area of life.”

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.

A bipartisan supermajority of Americans support the freedom to marry, according to a June 2022 poll. In addition, increased numbers of Americans are coming out as LGBTQ—1 in 5 members of Gen Z now identify as LGBTQ. 

The Respect for Marriage Act was introduced in July by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Susan Collins (R-ME). It previously passed in a bipartisan victory in the U.S. House of Representatives, with support from 47 Republicans and every Democrat.

GLAAD previously joined 400 other organizations in a sign-on letter in support of passage of the Respect for Marriage Act in the U.S. Senate. Earlier this month, GLAAD launched a new national digital and broadcast advertising campaign featuring a family that would be impacted by passage of the Respect for Marriage Act.