Congress Set to Enact Federal Recognition of Same-Sex and Interracial Marriages

Statement by Johanna Chao Kreilick, President, Union of Concerned Scientists

Published Nov 30, 2022

Congress is set to pass the Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal the Clinton-era Defense of Marriage Act and provide federal protection for same-sex and interracial marriages.

Below is a statement by Johanna Chao Kreilick, president of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“The passage of the Respect for Marriage Act in the Senate mark a historic and beautiful moment in American history. Our nation is taking an important step forward in making our founding promise of equality a reality. This is a victory for millions of LGBTQ+ Americans who will have their marriages recognized across the country. The right to marry has shaped my and my family members’ lives profoundly, and I know this holds true for many UCS staff and stakeholders. Love is love, and we need as much of it as possible in the world.

“As allies in the fight to upend systemic injustices, we are grateful to see meaningful progress toward a country that ensures dignity and equality for all.

“This law, however, will be the beginning and not the end of this battle. It is critical to note that while the bill protects recognition of same-sex marriages throughout the country, it does nothing to prevent state-level trigger legislation that would bar same-sex couples from getting married in that state should Obergefell be overturned. We’ve already seen the harm that these trigger laws can cause in states that have banned access to abortion care following the overturning of Roe.

“Meanwhile, lawmakers around the country are continuing to push anti-LGBTQ+ bills in state legislatures, including anti-trans measures that fail to reflect science and even block people from accessing life-saving healthcare.

“By heeding the science and living with compassion, progress can and must be made. State and federal lawmakers’ actions can help stamp out the hate that fuels tragedies such as the November 19 shooting at an LGBTQ+ nightclub in Colorado Springs.

“In solidarity with our LGTBQ+ peers, we remain committed to our mission to use science as a tool for creating a healthier, safer, and more just future for all.”