December 8, 2022

Kwentoria Williams

Hannah Phillips

Tonight, Congress has passed the Respect for Marriage Act, protecting same-sex and interracial marriages. This historic bill will federally require the government to recognize and protect these types of marriages in the United States, repealing the Defense of Marriage Act. It is now headed to President Biden’s desk. In response, leaders from URGE: Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equity, released the following statements.

Kimberly Inez McGuire, Executive Director of URGE, said:

“We are thrilled that Congress has taken the necessary steps to recognize same-sex and interracial marriages, and the Respect for Marriage Act will head to President Biden’s desk. Today, we celebrate that even more people across the country will be able to marry who they love and feel protected in doing so.

“However, we recognize that this is both long overdue and a response to a coordinated attack on our personal liberties. In 2015, the Supreme Court affirmed the constitutional right of same-sex marriages, but it has been met with threats from extremist leaders, including Justice Thomas’ heinous remarks in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health dissent. We know that the vast majority of people in America support same-sex marriage and want personal decisions to be exactly that – personal. Whether it comes to marriage or deciding whether to have children, these monumental and life-altering decisions must be up to individuals themselves, not elected officials in Congress. 

“Moving forward, we have work to do. It’s time for LGBTQ+ folks to be protected in all aspects of our lives. Trans folks – especially young, Black, Indigenous, and trans people of color – face threats and systemic barriers in their daily lives that are beyond imaginable. It’s time for each person to live with dignity and respect, and that starts and ends with the policies we enact at every level of government. 

Today, we applaud the members of Congress who voted to expand protections around marriage. Until those protections expand to all other parts of people’s lives, and everyone feels safe to love who they love and be who they are, we will continue to mobilize.”

Desiree S. Luckey, Policy Director at URGE, said:

“On behalf of young people across the country, we stand steadfast in calling for President Biden to codify the Respect for Marriage Act into law. As we saw in the consequential midterm elections, Americans overwhelmingly  support the ideals of progress, justice, and freedom. Now, it’s time to accelerate momentum and see these ideals enshrined in our policies. Codifying the Respect for Marriage Act will do just that.

“Today shows us that progress doesn’t have to be partisan. From the House to the Senate, elected officials on both sides of the aisle voted in favor of the most robust LGBTQ+ protections our country has ever seen. Moving forward, we need this sort of bipartisan partnership and collaboration to solve the biggest issues facing our communities, from attacks on the right to vote to assaults on bodily autonomy. 

Once President Biden signs the Respect for Marriage Act into law, it will offer a sigh of relief for members of the LGBTQ+ community and people of color that our country is taking essential steps in the right direction. We will continue to organize until every individual in this nation is accepted for who they are.”