July 19, 2022

Congressman Castro Votes to Guarantee Federal Protections for Same-Sex and Interracial Marriages

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20) voted to pass the Respect for Marriage Act, legislation that would protect same-sex and interracial marriages under federal law, repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, provide the U.S. Attorney General with the authority to enforce anti-discrimination laws as they relate to marriage, and create a private right of action for individuals harmed by marriage discrimination. 

“The Supreme Court’s decisions in Loving and Obergefell have made it possible for countless Texans to marry, start families, and live their American dreams. Undoing these protections should be unthinkable. As far-right lawmakers launch appalling attacks on our fundamental freedoms, the Senate needs to move quickly to enshrine federal protections for marriage equality into law,” said Congressman Castro. 

“Marriage equality was a momentous ruling for all LGBTQ+ Americans. Community members I talk to from across Texas are fearful as we witness other constitutional rights being taken away from citizens across the Nation. The Respect for Marriage Act is the appropriate and needed next step to protect our rights when it comes to same sex marriage. LGBTQ+ Texans deserve to be afforded equal protection when it comes to their love and marriage being recognized, no matter where they call home,” said Robert Salcido, Executive Director, Pride Center San Antonio  

In recent months, prominent Republican senators, including Ted Cruz (TX) and Mike Braun (IN) have reiterated opposition to federal rulings protecting same-sex and interracial marriage. The Supreme Court’s conservative majority has also signaled a willingness to hear cases that could undermine marriage equality. In his concurring opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Justice Clarence Thomas urged the Court to reconsider its decisions in Lawrence v. Texas and Obergefell v. Hodges, which respectively provide federal protections for sexual privacy and marriage equality. 

Same-sex and interracial marriage remain legal in Texas and all 50 U.S. states.