WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley shared the following statement after the United States Senate passed the Respect for Marriage Act, which protects federal marriage equality for same-sex and interracial couples in the United States of America:
“Nobody should face the gut-wrenching pit in their stomach with the possibility that some politically motivated Supreme Court justices might suddenly tell them that their marriage is no longer recognized. But the right-wing activist justices have made clear they are eager to inject their preferences into the most intimate parts of our lives and have specifically threatened Americans’ marriages. So bipartisan majorities in Congress are stepping in.
“Generations of Americans have marched, voted, organized, and raised their voices to move us closer to a more perfect union with freedom and equality for all. My colleagues and I – on both sides of the aisle – have the responsibility to not just further legislation to ensure this reality for all Americans, but to do all we can to protect the existing rights that so many Americans rely on. The right to marry the person you love, regardless of gender or race, should not be up for debate.
“Oregon protects marriage equality for those who call this great state home, and with the passage of the Respect for Marriage Act, these rights will now be protected for all Americans in every corner of every state of our country. Protecting same-sex and interracial marriage means the right to love and marry whomever you choose will be protected regardless of the whims of an extremist Supreme Court.
While our work here in D.C. is not over, and we need to pass the Equality Act and end all forms of anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination, let us not miss this opportunity to celebrate. Love wins!”
Senator Merkley has been a longtime supporter of marriage equality and has championed LGBTQ+ rights and racial justice going back to his days in the Oregon statehouse. Following today’s Senate vote, Senator Merkley will continue his work to further federal protections for all individuals, regardless of who they are and whom they love, with an invigorated push for the Senate to pass non-discrimination legislation that would protect LGBTQ+ individuals from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.