Law reaffirms fact that government cannot and should not interfere with individuals’ right to marry
WASHINGTON (December 14, 2022) AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) applauds the historic signing of the Respect for Marriage Act by US President Joe Biden. By passing this act, the US Congress has reaffirmed that the government cannot and should not interfere with individuals’ right to marry the person they love. This bipartisan act, supported by wide margins in both chambers, gives peace of mind to millions of LGBTQ+ and interracial couples who are now guaranteed the rights and protections to which they and their children are entitled.
When the Supreme Court of the United States overturned Roe v. Wade, Justice Clarence Thomas’ concurring opinion left the door open to the court to consider eliminating other fundamental civil rights protections, including the right to marriage equality. The Respect for Marriage Act effectively repeals the dreadful and discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act and ensures same-sex and interracial marriages continue to enjoy equal treatment under federal law. It also secures nationwide marriage recognition and equality for millions of couples across the country.
“While acknowledging this historic victory, we must also acknowledge the many courageous couples who stood up and fought for decades to secure nationwide marriage equality,” said Tracy Jones, National Director of Mobilization Campaigns, “They, along with so many fiercely committed advocates, have brought us one step closer to full equality for LGBTQ+ Americans and all Americans.”
Passing the Respect for Marriage Act is a major step forward, however, LGBTQ+ people and families remain under attack and are vulnerable to discrimination in states across the country. We must continue to work to ensure LGBTQ+ people are treated fairly and equally under the law. We urge Congress to also take action to pass federal nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ+ communities, such as those in the Equality Act.