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Sen. Tim Kaine, Sen. Mark Warner, Rep. Abigail Spanberger React to Senate Passage of “Respect for Marriage Act”

"I...urge my colleagues in the House of Representatives to pass it and send it to the President’s desk soon."


See below for some reactions to the U.S. Senate passing the Respect for Marriage Act, “legislation that would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and extend federal protections for gay and interracial marriages.”

Sen. Tim Kaine:

The Senate just passed the Respect For Marriage Act! I was proud to vote for and cosponsor the bill. Of course everyone should be able to marry who they love and have that marriage be recognized.


~ On Senate passage of the Respect for Marriage Act ~  

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) issued the following statement after the Senate voted to pass the Respect for Marriage Act, legislation that would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and extend federal protections for gay and interracial marriages:

“Marriage is not only a spiritual bond between two individuals, it’s also a binding contract that cements essential benefits, rights, and privileges. This bill will ensure that gay marriages are recognized across the country, thereby protecting same-sex couples from discrimination that would otherwise block their access to health care, paid family medical leave, hospital visitation, and parental rights — among many others. I was proud to vote for this piece of legislation and urge my colleagues in the House of Representatives to pass it and send it to the President’s desk soon.

“This is a meaningful step to protect rights already established by the Obergefell ruling, but Virginia still has a ban on same-sex marriages at the state level, and it’s time to repeal it.”


Spanberger Statement on U.S. Senate Passage of Respect for Marriage Act

The Bipartisan Bill would Repeal DOMA, Enshrine Marriage Equality, & Create Legal Protections for Same-Sex and Interracial Marriages in Virginia & Across the Country

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today released the following statement after the U.S. Senate voted to pass the bipartisan Respect for Marriage Act.

“I am glad that a bipartisan majority of my U.S. Senate colleagues voted to pass the Respect for Marriage Act today. Same-sex and interracial couples are our neighbors, they are parents and grandparents, and they are dedicated members of our communities.

“No one should discriminate against or deny legal protections to these Americans, simply based on who they love. I will vote to protect their rights again and again — as many times as is necessary — to make sure that marriage equality for same-sex and interracial couples is federal law in the United States, and I urge my fellow lawmakers to do the same.”

“The House of Representatives must quickly vote to pass the Respect for Marriage Act to protect members of our communities from discrimination and protect the basic human dignity of millions of our fellow Americans.”


LGBTQ+ State Groups Applaud the Passage of the Respect for Marriage Act in the U.S. Senate and Call for Further Action 

Today, Equality Virginia joined a coalition of 43 state lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) organizations representing millions of LGBTQ+ individuals to thank the U.S. Senate for passing the Respect for Marriage Act and to call for continued action to protect LGBTQ+ people in this country. 

“Across our Commonwealth, LGBTQ+ people and their families and friends, community members and faith leaders have all been making their support for the Respect for Marriage act known,” said Narissa Rahaman, Executive Director of Equality Virginia. “This law is a significant step forward for the LGBTQ+ community, and we are committed to mobilizing our communities in Virginia to make sure our lawmakers know this is just the first step. We must remove the ban on same-sex marriage that exists in the Virginia Constitution. Transgender people in Virginia are under attack and deserve the same safety and dignity to thrive that is afforded to everyone. We won’t stop fighting until every member of our community is free to live and be who they are.” 

The Respect for Marriage Act is a popular, bipartisan bill that would require states and the federal government to respect the marriages of same-sex and interracial couples, which is what our nation does now. In August of this year, the legislation cleared the U.S. House of Representatives with a strong bipartisan majority of 267 members – including 47 Republicans, and President Joe Biden has vowed to sign it into law.

“Our community — and especially transgender people — are already under fierce attack. Right now, we are seeing grave assaults on people’s basic liberties across the board — from denying reproductive freedom to the passage of school censorship laws to efforts to criminalize established, life-saving healthcare for transgender youth. But it doesn’t stop there. Our community was recently attacked in a violent shooting at Club Q — one of the few safe gathering spaces for LGBTQ+ people in Colorado Springs. We must join with all our communities and fight these attacks head-on. We must do more to ensure that we can all live safely, with dignity and respect. ”

The Respect for Marriage Act is simple – it would:

  • Repeal DOMA and get this anti-marriage federal law off the books.
  • Ensure that the federal government respects all marriages equally for federal law purposes, and require that an individual be considered married if the couple’s marriage was valid in the state where it was performed.
  • Prohibit any state government or person acting under color of state law from denying full faith and credit to an out-of-state marriage based on the sex, race, ethnicity or national origin of the individuals in the marriage.

Passing the Respect for Marriage Act is one action the federal government can take to protect LGBTQ+ families and all families – and ensure the dignity, stability, and ongoing protection that marriage affords to families and children.


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