This week, the U.S. Senate passed the Respect for Marriage Act with an overwhelming majority of 61 votes, including 12 votes from Republican senators. OutNebraska, as a part of a coalition of 43 state lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) organizations, wants to thank the U.S. Senate for passing the Respect for Marriage Act, as well as call for continued action to protect LGBTQ+ people in this country. Read the full coalition letter here.
The Respect for Marriage Act will finally codify marriage equality in federal law by guaranteeing the rights, benefits, and obligations of marriages in the federal code; repealing the Defense of Marriage Act; and providing additional legal protections for same-sex marriage equality by reaffirming that same-sex marriages valid in one state will be recognized in all other states.
Senator Deb Fischer voted to oppose the RMA, while Senator Ben Sasse abstained, despite strong bi-partisan support from their fellow senators. These actions do not reflect the attitudes of the majority of Americans, 71% of whom support the freedom to marry. “The Respect for Marriage Act is a significant step forward for our community,” said OutNebraska’s Executive Director, Abbi Swatsworth, “and we are committed to continuing the work in Nebraska to make sure our lawmakers know this is only the first step.”
OutNebraska applauds the U.S. Senate for passing this crucial piece of legislation, and we are already looking ahead for opportunities to further LGBTQ+ equality in Nebraska and beyond, including pushing for non-discrimination protections in the Equality Act.
OutNebraska is a statewide organization working to advocate, celebrate and educate on LGBTQ+ issues in Nebraska. For more information visit outnebraska.org