GLAAD Statement in Response to Delay of Respect for Marriage Act Vote

September 15, 2022

(New York)  Today GLAAD, the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, responded to the news that a vote on the Respect for Marriage Act will be postponed until after the midterm elections.

GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis responded below:

“It’s shameful that the expected movement on the much-needed Respect for Marriage Act will now be delayed. Equality under the law should be above election year politics. This bill is about treating families with dignity and respect – not about advancing individual political agendas. Any Senator who opposes bringing this bill to the floor as soon as possible is out of touch with the supermajority of Americans who know that marriage equality is about ensuring that everyone, including same-sex and interracial couples, can live with dignity and respect. LGBTQ voters and their allies must turn out in record numbers in this election to vote for lawmakers who will bravely stand up for treating all Americans fairly and equally, regardless of their political party. At the end of the day, all fair-minded lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who believe in love, commitment, and family need to get this bill over the finish line.”

The Respect for Marriage Act would 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 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 are LGBTQ.

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