December 08, 2022

Congresswoman Lee Applauds Passage of Respect for Marriage Act

Washington, DC – Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Vice-Chair and Founding Member of the LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus, issued the below statement on House passage of the Respect for Marriage Act.

 “The right to marry is a fundamental issue of justice. Today, I proudly voted to strengthen protections for same-sex and interracial couples with passage of the Respect for Marriage Act, an essential step to guard against the increasingly extremist, right-wing Supreme Court—a Court that just this year threatened the essential precedents of Obergefell v. Hodges and United States v. Windsor that legalized same-sex marriage. 

“As radical Justices and right-wing politicians continue their assault on freedom, it has never been more important to protect equal rights under the law. I thank the millions of activists, organizers, and all those who fought for this right throughout history—this would not have been possible without you.

“As a founding member of the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus, I will continue to fight to pass the Equality Act and to push to address the crises of discrimination of Black, Latino, Asian, Indigenous, and LGBTQ, particularly transgender, Americans.”

The Respect for Marriage Act will take several steps to combat this assault on Americans’ freedoms:

  • Enshrining Marriage Equality Into Federal Law: This legislation will require the federal government to fully recognize any marriage considered valid in the state where it was performed – providing same-sex and interracial couples additional certainty that they will continue to receive equal treatment under federal law.
  • Repealing the Defense of Marriage Act: While the Supreme Court has effectively voided the Defense of Marriage Act, this unconstitutional and discriminatory federal law still remains on the books. The Respect for MarriageAct would repeal this statute once and for all.
  • Barring Discrimination By State Officials: This legislation prohibits state officials from denying recognition of an out-of-state marriage on the basis of sex, race, ethnicity or national origin.

The Respect for Marriage Act is strongly supported by leading advocacy organizations, including the ACLU, Center for American Progress, Equality Federation, Family Equality, Freedom for All Americans, GLAD, Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Legal, National Black Justice Coalition, National Center for Lesbian Rights, National Women’s Law Center and PFLAG.


Congresswoman Lee is a member of the House Appropriations Committee and Chair of the Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations. She serves as Co-Chair of the Steering & Policy Committee, former Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, Chair Emeritus of the Progressive Caucus, Co-Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Health Task Force, and Co-Chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus. She also serves as Chair of the Majority Leader’s Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity. As a member of the House Democratic Leadership, she is the highest ranking Black woman in the U.S. Congress.