Human Rights Campaign to Hold ‘Love Letter Writing Party’ in Charlotte to Thank Tillis for Backing Respect for Marriage Act

by HRC Staff

More Than 1,000 HRC Supporters From North Carolina Have Called or Written in Support of the Respect for Marriage Act in Recent Weeks

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA — With the U.S. Senate slated to consider the Respect for Marriage Act soon after it returns from August recess, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) will hold a ‘Love Letter Writing Party’ for volunteers and supporters to thank Sen. Thom Tillis for supporting this critical legislation. More than 1,000 HRC supporters from North Carolina have called or written in support of the Respect for Marriage Act in recent weeks.

This event will take place TOMORROW, August 25th, at 5:30 PM. Location details are available upon request. Media interested in attending this event and speaking with HRC staff and volunteers should reach out to Rich Luchette ( for further details.

Human Rights Campaign North Carolina Regional Organizing Lead Rhys Chambers released the following statement today:

“We all have stories of why those we love are important to us. That’s why we’re coming together this Thursday to thank Sen. Thom Tillis for backing the Respect for Marriage Act and let him know how important his support is to so many people across this state. It’s critical that the Senate pass the Respect for Marriage Act into law, and we hope that Sen. Burr will join Sen. Tillis to make this possible.”

HRC has activated a vast and highly-engaged grassroots effort across North Carolina to mobilize constituents in support of the Respect for Marriage Act. HRC has activated its grassroots network of members, volunteers and supporters in the state to mobilize the nearly 1.8 million Equality Voters in North Carolina — who are among the more than 62 million Equality Voters in the nation made up of LGBTQ+ people and allies who prioritize LGBTQ+ equality at the ballot box.

Below is additional background information on support for marriage equality in North Carolina and across the country, as well as an overview of the key provisions of the Respect for Marriage Act.

North Carolinians are Champions for Marriage Equality.

  • 66% of North Carolina residents support same sex marriage, according to a 2022 PRRI survey.

  • The Charlotte Observer Editorial Board published an editorial last week, calling on North Carolina’s senators to support the bill, editorializing: “It’s also a signal that there is room in the party for tolerance and growth, given that Tillis has a history of supporting or ignoring legislative attacks on the LGBTQ+ community. We applaud what looks like growth, and we hope other Republicans, including Richard Burr, join him.”

Sen. Burr is Undecided, Despite Support from Sen. Tillis and Overwhelming Support Among North Carolinians.

  • Sen. Richard Burr: Sen. Burr has shifted slightly from a no vote on the bill to “leaning in opposition,” but will “wait and see whether it comes to the floor,” per NBC’s Sahil Kapur.

  • Sen. Thom Tillis: Sen. Tillis confirmed he plans to vote in favor of the bill. “I’m prepared to support it,” Tillis said on Tuesday outside the Senate chamber, according to the News & Observer.

More Than Two-Thirds of Americans Support Marriage Equality.

  • According to Gallup, 71% of Americans support marriage for same-sex couples. The latest survey from PRRI this year found that support for marriage equality has increased by 14 percentage points since 2014 (54%). Republicans are now nearly evenly divided over marriage equality (48% support, 50% oppose), while 81% of Democrats and 73% of independents favor marriage equality. Today, majorities of most religious groups favor 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.

Key Provisions of the Bill

The Respect for Marriage Act would ensure that marriage equality is protected nationally through several provisions:

  • Repealing the 1990s era Defense of Marriage Act. Passed in 1996, it discriminated in two important ways. First, Section 2 of DOMA purports to allow states to refuse to recognize valid civil marriages of same-sex couples. Second, Section 3 of the law carves all same-sex couples, regardless of their marital status, out of all federal statutes, regulations and rulings applicable to all other married people — thereby denying them over 1,100 federal benefits and protections. DOMA was rendered unenforceable, in two stages, by the Supreme Court’s 2013 Windsor v. United States ruling and the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges ruling.

  • Establishing that “place of celebration” is the standard of recognition for federal benefits of a same-sex marriage. Under this provision, if marriage equality was ever to cease to be recognized in a given state, same-sex couples who travel to get married in another state – one where same-sex marriages are still recognized — would still retain federal marriage benefits.

  • Affirming that public acts, records and proceedings should be recognized by all states. Adoption orders, divorce decrees, and other public acts must be honored by all states consistent with the Full Faith and Credit clause of the US Constitution.

  • Codifying the federal protections conferred by the Obergefell and Windsor rulings. The landmark ruling stated that bans on marriage equality are unconstitutional.

***Media interested in attending this event and speaking with HRC staff and volunteers should reach out to Rich Luchette ( for further details.***

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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