WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) released the following statement Tuesday after the Senate approved 61-36 the Respect for Marriage Act that codifies marriage equality for same-sex couples, repeals the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) of 1996 and guarantees that legal marriages performed in one state are given full faith and credit by every other state. Senator Cardin is an original cosponsor of S. 4556, the companion legislation to H.R. 8404, which was approved by the House of Representatives in July and passed the Senate today.
“In 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States Obergefell v. Hodges decision affirmed equality as an American value that should not be denied or taken away from anyone. Today, the United States Senate came together on a bipartisan basis to reaffirm that the right of loving, same-sex couples to marry should be upheld and not taken away. Based on the writings of Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas, and the recent, precedent-breaking actions of the conservative majority on the court, the threat to marriage equality was very real. I am proud that Maryland has state-level protections in place to preserve the sanctity of same-sex marriage, but Congress had to ensure that such fundamental rights are respected at the national level. Together, the Supreme Court and the federal government, as a whole, must focus on expanding the rights of Americans and not revoking them. As a nation, we must stand united and firm in the face of injustice and continue to proclaim that love is, has been, and always will be, love.”