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Congressman Higgins Celebrates as the Respect For Marriage Act Becomes Law

Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives as the President prepared to sign the Respect for Marriage Act into law.  Higgins, a member of the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus, is a co-sponsor of the bill. 

Rep. Brian Higgins speaks on the House Floor


Higgins said, in part, “I rise today to celebrate progress in America’s pledge to provide liberty and justice for all Americans. The legislation ensures equal rights and protection for married couples regardless of the color of their skin, where they live, or whom they love. This act is long overdue and necessary as threats remain to undo the hard-fought ruling giving same-sex couples the fundamental right to marriage equality.”

The Respect for Marriage Act passed, with Higgins’ support, in the House of Representatives in July and again on December 8, 2022, after Senate approval.

The law officially repeals the Defense of Marriage Act, which bars the federal government from legally recognizing same-sex marriage approved by individual states. It protects marriage equality under federal law, regardless of the state in which a couple was married. The Act also provides additional safeguards by prohibiting state officials from denying recognition of an out-of-state marriage on the basis of sex, race, ethnicity, or national origin.