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Respect for Marriage Act Key to Resisting Threats to LGBTQ+ Equality

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strongly bipartisan passage of the Respect for Marriage Act. The bill, which heads to the Senate, would ensure federal recognition of marriages between same-sex couples and interracial couples.The bill’s passage comes after Justice Clarence Thomas’s chilling sentences declaring not just the Obergefell ruling ensuring the freedom to marry but also Griswold’s guarantee of contraception and Lawrence’s right to consensual same-sex relationships to be “demonstrably erroneous decisions.” He all but invited challenges to these historic precedents.

The Respect for Marriage Act evokes an earlier time in the long fight to win marriage equality. I have been replaying vivid memories of traveling the South a decade ago with our team at the Campaign for Southern Equality, standing with hundreds of same-sex couples who courageously requested marriage licenses in their hometowns to call for marriage equality, knowing they’d be denied.

We worked with families in small towns like Morristown, Tenn., and cities like Mobile, Ala. I think about those who were plaintiffs in lawsuits striking down marriage bans in state after state.

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