Human Rights Campaign: It’s Time to Pass the Respect for Marriage Act

by Henry Berg-Brousseau

HRC expressed disappointment that the U.S. Senate has declined to vote on the vital Respect for Marriage Act before the Senate recess.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization — expressed disappointment that the U.S. Senate has declined to vote on the vital Respect for Marriage Act before the Senate recess. In response, Human Rights Campaign Interim President Joni Madison issued the following statement:

“The Respect for Marriage Act is an incredibly necessary, popular and bipartisan bill – and the lack of 10 Republican yes votes right now is extremely disappointing. Marriage equality – for both LGBTQ+ and interracial couples – is not and should not be a partisan issue, and to treat it as such is an insult to the millions of families who are impacted. The Respect for Marriage Act must be brought to a vote at the earliest possible moment – in the aftermath of Dobbs v. Jackson, it is clear there’s a timely, urgent need to declare that the days of debate around marriage equality are over.
But our fight is not over. When the Senate returns, they will have a lot of unfinished business to attend to – including both the Respect for Marriage Act and the Equality Act – to ensure that everyone’s rights are protected. And with the midterm elections on the horizon, Equality Voters –LGBTQ+ voters and our allies – will make our voices heard.”

The Respect for Marriage Act is legislation that would codify federal marriage equality by guaranteeing the federal rights, benefits and obligations of marriages in the federal code; repeal the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA); and affirm that public acts, records and proceedings should be recognized by all states. The bill passed the House 267-157, garnering 47 Republican votes — further demonstrating that support for marriage equality is widespread and bipartisan. In the aftermath of Dobbs, it is more important than ever that we enshrine our court-protected civil liberties into law.

According to Gallup, 71% of Americans support marriage for same-sex couples. 55% of Republicans support same-sex marriage, along with 83% of Democrats and 73% of Independents. According to recent polling from HRC, 64% of likely voters living in battleground states – AZ, CA, GA, MI, NV, PA, WI, FL, NH, NC, OH, TX, CO, and ME– support marriage equality, demonstrating the issue’s popularity even in politically divided states. The latest survey from PRRI this year found that support for marriage equality has increased by 14 percentage points since 2014 (54%). Today, majorities of most religious groups favor marriage equality. White evangelical Protestants (35%) and Latter-day Saints (46%) remain the only major religious groups with less than majority support for marriage equality. According to the last Census, about 58% (568,000) of couples in the nation’s 980,000 same-sex households were married and about 42% were unmarried partners.

HRC is uniquely positioned to engage our members and supporters in favor of this legislation. We are mobilizing 226 major businesses representing over 8.5 million employees, a grassroots army of more than 3 million members, supporters and volunteers, and the nation’s 62 million “Equality Voters” to call on the U.S. Senate to pass the Respect for Marriage Act (RMA). To read personal stories of why marriage equality remains important to LGBTQ+ couples across the country, click here, and to watch a video featuring a D.C.-based couple, click here.

  • Over 43,000 HRC members, supporters and volunteers have taken action through either email or phone call to their senators

  • Approximately 10,280 HRC members initiated calls to their respective senators, including:
    • Over 570 calls in Texas

    • Over 500 calls in Florida

    • Over 650 calls in Pennsylvania

    • Over 590 calls in Ohio

    • Over 340 calls in Missouri

    • Over 310 calls in Indiana

  • Over 21,000 emails were sent to senators by HRC members and supporters, including:
    • Over 1,900 emails in Florida

    • Over 2,960 emails in Pennsylvania

    • Over 2,590 emails in Ohio

    • Over 1,482 emails in Missouri

    • Over 1,676 emails in Indiana

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ+ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.


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