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SPLC Action Fund Applauds Senate Vote, Urges Swift House Approval to Protect Marriage Equality

WASHINGTON – On Tuesday, the Senate voted 61-36 to approve HR 8404, the Respect for Marriage Act, repealing the discriminatory 1996 Defense of Marriage Act and providing federal protection for same-sex and interracial marriages. Since its initial passage by the House in July, religious freedom protections have also been included.

The following statement is from Scott McCoy, SPLC Action Fund interim deputy legal director, LGBTQ+ Rights & Special Litigation:

“The SPLC Action Fund applauds the U.S. Senate for acting to provide the same federal recognition and protection for same-sex and interracial couples as all other married couples. Congressional action to enshrine protections for marriage equality was necessary following last summer’s devastating Dobbs v. Jackson Supreme Court decision, which eliminated longstanding constitutional protection for abortion rights. We commend Majority Leader Schumer (D-NY) and Senators Baldwin (D-WI), Collins (R-ME), Feinstein (D-CA), Portman (R-OH), Sinema (D-AZ) and Tillis (R-NC) for their leadership in securing strong, bipartisan support for this historic measure. 

“The legislation has also received extraordinary support from businesses leaders and the religious community. Overwhelmingly, Americans side with couples in same-sex and interracial marriages who deserve the same legal protections that other couples enjoy.

“The SPLC Action Fund now calls on the House to swiftly pass the Respect for Marriage Act and quickly send to President Biden for signing into law to ensure inclusivity and safeguard marital equality for all Americans.”