WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-03) voted Thursday to send the Respect for Marriage Act to President Biden’s desk.
The landmark legislation takes key steps to defend marriage equality: it officially repeals the “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA), upholds couples’ right to equal protection under federal law and requires states to recognize valid out-of-state marriages.
“Today I voted to make sure everyone can marry the person they love without the federal government getting in their way,” Axne said. “The Respect for Marriage Act sends a clear signal that hate and bigotry don’t have a place in America by repealing the hate-filled Defense of Marriage Act and enshrining married couples’ right to equal protection.”
Axne said the Respect for Marriage Act will take several steps to protect the inviolability of same-sex and interracial marriages by:
1. Repealing the “Defense of Marriage Act”: While the U.S. Supreme Court has effectively voided DOMA, this unconstitutional and discriminatory federal law still remains on the books, and that Supreme Court decision is under threat after the Dobbs decision in June. The Respect for Marriage Act will repeal this statute once and for all.
2. 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.
3. 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 proceeds to the President Biden’s desk for his signature.
The Respect for Marriage Act was 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.