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Legislative Alerts

Urge Your U.S. Senators to Pass the Respect for Marriage Act

NASW affirms that marriage equality is an essential and constitutional right and that all couples are entitled to full and equal recognition under the law. NASW steadfastly supports legislation consistent with this affirmation, including the Respect for Marriage Act (H.R. 8404), which was passed by the House of Representatives with bipartisan support on July 19th. The Senate may take up the Respect for Marriage Act this week and your Senators need to hear from you. Please urge your Senators to pass the Respect for Marriage Act as soon as possible.

With the June 2022 issuance of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, the need to pass this critical bill is more urgent than ever to counter potential attacks on other constitutional rights, including same-sex and interracial marriage. 

The bipartisan Respect for Marriage Act would: 

  • Repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The Supreme Court effectively rendered DOMA inert with its landmark decisions in United States v. Windsor and Obergefell v. Hodges. This unconstitutional and discriminatory law, however, still officially remains on the books. The bill would repeal this statute once and for all.
  • Enshrine Marriage Equality for Federal Law Purposes. The bill requires, for federal law purposes, that an individual be considered married if the marriage was valid in the state where it was performed. This gives same-sex and interracial couples additional certainty that they will continue to enjoy equal treatment under federal law as all other married couples—as the Constitution requires.
  • Provide Additional Legal Protections. The bill prohibits any state official or anyone acting on behalf of the state from denying full faith and credit to an out-of-state marriage based on the sex, race, ethnicity or national origin of the individuals in the marriage; provides the attorney general with the authority to pursue enforcement actions; and creates a private right of action for any individual harmed by a violation of this provision.


Tell your senators to support the Respect for Marriage Act to ensure that every person can marry the person that they love, and that marriage equality remains constitutionally protected.

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