Press Releases

Wexton Votes to Enshrine Marriage Equality Under Federal Law

Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) voted to send the bipartisan Respect for Marriage Act to President Biden’s desk. This landmark legislation takes several key steps to defend marriage equality: officially repealing the bigoted and unconstitutional “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA), upholding couples’ right to equal protection under federal law, and requiring states to recognize valid out-of-state marriages.

"With our passage of the Respect for Marriage Act today, equality and love win," said Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton. "In the face of bigoted attacks from courts and state legislatures on LGBTQ+ rights, we're taking action to uphold marriage equality under federal law and ensure that the government never stands in the way of marrying the person you love. I will always fight to uphold fundamental freedoms and advance equality for all LGBTQ+ Americans."

Since the Republican-appointed Supreme Court’s outrageous Dobbs decision, extreme MAGA Republicans have set their sights on other basic personal freedoms. In his concurring opinion, Clarence Thomas explicitly called for the Court to reconsider its Obergefell decision upholding marriage equality. 

The Respect for Marriage Act will take several steps to protect the inviolability of same-sex and interracial marriages:

  • Repealing the “Defense of Marriage Act”: While the Supreme Court has effectively voided DOMA, this unconstitutional and discriminatory federal law still remains on the books. The Respect for Marriage Act will repeal this statute once and for all.
  • Enshrining Marriage Equality Into Federal Law: This legislation will uphold married couples’ right to equal protection in all areas covered under federal law, such as Social Security, tax filings and veterans’ benefits.
  • Barring Discrimination By State Officials: This legislation prohibits state officials from denying recognition of an out-of-state marriage on the basis of sex, race, ethnicity or national origin.

Previously passed by the House earlier this year, the Respect for Marriage Act was amended and advanced by the Senate last week. With today’s vote in the House, the final bill now heads to the President’s desk for his signature.

The Respect for Marriage Act is strongly supported by leading advocacy organizations, including the ACLU, Center for American Progress, Equality Federation, Family Equality, Freedom for All Americans, GLAD, Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Legal, National Black Justice Coalition, National Center for Lesbian Rights, National Women’s Law Center, and PFLAG.