December 13, 2022 — Athlete Ally responded to news that after passage by the United States Senate and the House of Representatives, the Respect for Marriage Act was signed into law today. Under this legislation, federal and state governments must recognize legally celebrated marriages regardless of the individuals’ sex, race, ethnicity, or national origin, and it would allow people to sue to enforce those rights. It does not prevent states from ceasing marriage licenses to spouses of the same gender, but does require that in this case, all states would still have to recognize same-sex marriages performed legally in other states. It also contains protections which allow religious institutions the right to refuse services, facilities and goods for any marriage ceremony or celebration.
“The Respect for Marriage Act enshrines a critical protection for LGBTQI+ and interracial couples, who deserve to have their rights respected in all areas of life, including marriage,” said AC Dumlao, Athlete Ally’s Chief of Staff. “The bipartisan support for this legislation shows sustained support for LGBTQI+ rights despite radical rhetoric in recent years that has resulted in extreme violence, including Colorado’s Club Q shooting.
Much work ahead remains to ensure that the LGBTQI+ community is protected from violence, especially the transgender community which faces record-high rates of discrimination and violence. We continue to face discrimination in our every day lives, as evidenced by the recent Supreme Court hearing to determine if Colorado state law, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, violated a graphic designer’s right to free speech. We also are deeply concerned that 18 states and counting have banned transgender youth from the sports they love, despite the fact that trans youth participate in sport for the exact same reasons as their peers, and deserve that same level of access and opportunity.”