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Warner & Kaine Statement on Signing of Respect for Marriage Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine released the following statement on President Biden’s signing of the Respect for Marriage Act, legislation which will ensure that same-sex and interracial marriages are recognized by every state:

“We’re proud that Congress has passed and the President has signed the Respect for Marriage Act to ensure all Americans have their marriages recognized across the country. We saw this summer in the Dobbs decision that the Supreme Court is willing to throw out decades of precedent on equal protection and threaten important decisions like Obergefell. We’re glad that we could pass this bill to give same-sex and interracial couples the certainty they deserve that their marriages will be respected no matter what the Court does in the future. Now, it’s time to repeal the shameful ban on same-sex marriages that is still in Virginia’s constitution.”

Virginia passed a ban on same-sex marriage in 2006, which remains in the Virginia Constitution today. The Obergefell decision, which is currently the law of the land, overrides Virginia’s ban. However, if the Supreme Court overturns Obergefell, the right of LGBTQ Virginians to marry in the Commonwealth would be jeopardized unless that ban is repealed.

In the U.S. Senate, Warner and Kaine were among the 212 members of Congress who signed an amicus brief arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court that same-sex married couples should have the same legal security, rights, and responsibilities that federal law provides all other married couples. Warner and Kaine are also cosponsors of the Equality Act, which would amend federal civil rights laws to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in education, employment, housing, credit, and federal jury service.

See the full text of the Respect for Marriage Act here.