WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement upon passage of H.R. 8404, the Respect for Marriage Act:
“Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus were thrilled to help pass the Respect for Marriage Act on the floor of the House today. The legislation, introduced by Representatives Jerrold Nadler (NY-10) and David Cicilline (RI-01), two CPC members, enshrines the right to marry for same-sex and interracial couples in federal law, repeals the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act, and provides additional legal protections against states who would seek to invalidate these marriages or the benefits they offer. This bill responds directly to the threats posed by the justices’ opinions in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which is why the CPC included it in our post-ruling action agenda, and why we applaud House Leadership for prioritizing its passage.
“As Democrats continue to respond to the wreckage of the Dobbs decision, we look forward to addressing another item on our agenda and voting to pass the complimentary Right to Contraception Act and Protecting Access to Contraception Act, my legislation with Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05). We must also continue to press for passage of the Equality Act, because even if same-sex marriage is enshrined in law, the LGBTQ+ community — particularly transgender people — will remain under attack.
“But let’s be clear: these rights should never have been at risk from the Supreme Court in the first place. The Senate’s refusal to end or reform the filibuster and codify essential rights has created a vacuum of leadership — and the Supreme Court has stepped into that vacuum, with this 6-3 majority all too eager to capitalize on decades of Senate inaction and act against the will of the American people. Our Senate colleagues have an obligation to send this legislation, and the many bills House Democrats pass to secure Americans’ fundamental freedoms, to the President’s desk, and protect the lives and livelihoods of families across the country. This arcane Jim Crow procedure cannot once again stand in the way of the people’s civil rights.”