WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA) voted this week to enshrine marriage equality into federal law.
The bipartisan Respect for Marriage Act will officially repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a defunct and discriminatory statute excluding same-sex couples from marriage under federal law. This legislation will also codify new protections to ensure that no married couple can be denied protections and benefits under federal law based on sex, race, ethnicity, or national origin.
“When I was deployed on combat ships in the Navy, I never once looked at the person to either side of me and asked who they loved,” Rep. Luria said. “Virginia has played a critical role in the freedom of Americans to marry who they love, and I was proud to vote today to enshrine marriage equality into federal law. The right of same-sex couples to marry has been settled law for more than a decade, and I will continue fighting to protect the rights of all Americans, including the right to marry who you love and the right to choose.”
The Respect for Marriage Act will take several steps to protect the freedoms of all Americans by:
Enshrining Marriage Equality into Federal Law: This legislation will require the federal government to fully recognize any marriage considered valid in the state where it was performed – providing same-sex and interracial couples additional certainty that they will continue to receive equal treatment under federal law.
Repealing the Defense of Marriage Act: While the Supreme Court has effectively voided the Defense of Marriage Act, this unconstitutional and discriminatory federal law still remains on the books. The Respect for Marriage Act would repeal this statute once and for all.
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.
The Respect for Marriage Act is 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.