Center for American Progress

STATEMENT: The Respect for Marriage Act Is a Necessary Step To Defend Marriage Equality From Radical Supreme Court, Says CAP’s Nicole Lee Ndumele
Press Statement

STATEMENT: The Respect for Marriage Act Is a Necessary Step To Defend Marriage Equality From Radical Supreme Court, Says CAP’s Nicole Lee Ndumele

Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Respect for Marriage Act, which would codify the protections in the Supreme Court’s decisions in Obergefell, Lawrence, and Loving. Nicole Lee Ndumele, senior vice president for Rights and Justice at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement in response:

When the Supreme Court’s radical majority overturned Roe v. Wade, they proved that no right is safe. The ruling, particularly Justice Clarence Thomas’ concurring opinion, clearly threatens other fundamental rights, including the right to marriage equality, which is overwhelmingly supported by the vast majority of Americans. The consequences of undermining or eliminating marriage equality would simply be dire for couples, families, and children across the country.

The Respect for Marriage Act will repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which for decades prevented same-sex couples from receiving equal treatment across the states. It will also ensure that no state can deny a marriage on the basis of sex, gender, race, ethnicity, or national origin; allow the U.S. attorney general to bring a civil action against violations; and create a private right of action for those harmed by a violation of the law.

We applaud House lawmakers, in particular Reps. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), David Cicilline (D-RI), and Mondaire Jones (D-NY), as well as Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), for championing this crucial legislation. Now, we urge the Senate to advance and pass this bill with the necessary urgency.

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, please contact Tricia Woodcome at twoodcome@americanprogress.org.