WASHINGTON – On Tuesday, Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-03) voted to pass H.R. 8404, the Respect for Marriage Act that would enshrine the constitutional right of marriage equality for same sex and interracial couples guaranteed by Obergefell and Loving, repeal the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and provide additional legal protections for marriage equality.
“While love does not discriminate, it’s clear the Republican Party and Supreme Court do. The far right Supreme Court has established new precedent – no previously settled law is safe from their politically motivated attacks,” said Rep. Grijalva. “I’m proud to vote to enshrine this Constitutional right and provide peace of mind to thousands of families. Same sex and interracial couples should not have to worry about whether their marriage will continue to enjoy equal treatment under federal law as do all other married couples. The Senate must urgently pass marriage equality into law. ”
While marriage equality remains constitutionally protected, the Supreme Court’s reasoning in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization to justify overturning the right to abortion could be used in the future to threaten other fundamental rights, including the right to marriage equality.
In a concurring opinion in Dobbs, Justice Clarence Thomas explicitly called on the Supreme Court to reconsider its decisions protecting other fundamental rights, including the right to same-sex marriage recognized in Obergefell. And although Justice Thomas did not mention the right to interracial marriage, that right relies on the same constitutional doctrines as the right to same-sex marriage, and therefore, could be vulnerable to a legal challenge.
More information on the Respect for Marriage Act can be found here.