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AFSCME applauds signing of Respect for Marriage Act

AFSCME applauds signing of Respect for Marriage Act
By Pete Levine ·
Tags: Victories

President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed the Respect for Marriage Act, which will protect millions of married same-sex and interracial couples in our country.

After the Senate passed the bipartisan law 61-36 at the end of November, AFSCME President Lee Saunders said in a statement, “With the passage of the Respect for Marriage Act, we are finally codifying that love is love. We are saying that we will never go back to when people committed to one another were denied rights and protections because of sex, race, ethnicity or national origin.”

The Respect for Marriage Act repeals the anti-marriage 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, ensuring that the federal government respects all marriages equally for the purposes of federal law, including same-sex and interracial marriages.

The Respect for Marriage Act also addresses concerns raised by married couples who feared their marriages and families could be destabilized by challenges to existing precedents – including Loving v Virginia, which struck down state laws banning interracial marriage, and Obergefell v. Hodges, which guaranteed the right to marriage for same-sex couples.

The Supreme Court has indicated a desire to revisit these and other cases like them.

Saunders added: “Marriage equality is not only an economic, legal and social issue. It represents the fundamental recognition that LGBTQ and interracial families deserve the dignity of having their unions legitimized and respected in every corner of our country.”

The Respect for Marriage Act would ensure that those marriages are still recognized, regardless of what the Supreme Court decides in the future.

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