December 08, 2022

Congressman Castro Votes for Respect for Marriage Act to Protect the Freedom to Marry for LGBTQIA+ and Interracial Couples

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20) voted to pass the Respect for Marriage Act, legislation to protect marriage equality under federal law. The Respect for Marriage Act passed the Senate on November 29, 2022, and now advances to the White House for President Biden’s signature.

“All Americans should have the freedom to marry who they love,” said Congressman Castro. “In the months since the Supreme Court signaled its willingness to overturn Lawrence v. Texas and Obergefell v. Hodges, many families have written to tell me how scared they are about losing their rights. The Respect for Marriage Act is a common-sense bill to protect the rights of LGBTQIA+ and interracial couples and families, and I was glad to cast my vote to send it to President Biden’s desk. No matter who you love, Texas should be a place where y’all means all.”

The Respect for Marriage Act will:

  • Enshrine marriage equality under federal law.  The bill requires that an individual be considered married under federal law if the marriage was valid in the state where it was performed. This gives same-sex and interracial couples additional security that they will continue to enjoy equal treatment under federal law as all other married couples.
  • Provide additional legal protections against anti-LGBTQIA+ bigotry. The bill prohibits any person acting under color of state law 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.  The bill also provides the U.S. 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.