Rep. Ritchie Torres Votes to Protect Same Sex and Interracial Marriage

Dec 08, 2022
LGBTQ+ Rights


Washington, DC – Today, the House passed the Respect for Marriage Act by a 258-169-1 vote, with support from 39 Republicans. The bill repeals the Defense of Marriage Act and ensures critical protections for same-sex and interracial marriages. This Congressional action follows Justice Clarence Thomas suggestion that the precedent for same-sex marriage, legalized by SCOTUS in the 2015 Obergefell versus Hodges ruling should be “reconsidered.” Last month the Senate bill passed by a 62-37 vote, with support from 12 Republican Senators. 

“The right to same sex and interracial marriage must be protected from the extreme Supreme Court’s crusade against personal liberties. We can no longer depend on this MAGA Supreme Court to uphold our constitutional rights, and so it is up to the members of Congress to ensure equality under the law. Something as fundamental as the right to marriage must have both constitutional and statutory protections. I am grateful for the bipartisan support this important issue has gotten in both chambers to finally protect LGBTQ and interracial couples right to love and marriage. 

“As the first openly gay Afro Latino member of the U.S. Congress, I am committed to ensuring this fundamental right is entrenched in law. I take pride in voting for such a historic piece of legislation that will ensure marriage equality remains the law of the land and LGBTQ+ and interracial couples don’t have to live in fear of losing this essential right.”

The Respect for Marriage Act will take several steps to protect the inviolability of same-sex and interracial marriages:

  • Repealing the “Defense of Marriage Act”: While the Supreme Court has effectively voided DOMA, this unconstitutional and discriminatory federal law still remains on the books.  The Respect for Marriage Act will repeal this statute once and for all.
  • Enshrining Marriage Equality Into Federal Law: This legislation will uphold married couples’ right to equal protection in all areas covered under federal law, such as Social Security, tax filings and veterans’ benefits.
  • 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. 

See his floor remarks here.


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