When the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade earlier this year, it was not just an attack on women’s rights. It also took aim at same-sex and interracial marriage. Thankfully, the Senate took an important step forward last week when it passed the Respect for Marriage Act with support from Democrats and some Republicans. This new bill would codify federal recognition of same-sex and interracial marriages and require states to recognize unions performed legally in other jurisdictions.
While we celebrate this progress toward protecting the sanctity of marriage for all, we take note of the harsh reality that we still have to fight for respect for all people. It’s unfortunate that we live in the 21st century and still have to advocate for basic human dignity. Why is it so difficult to let people live their lives with respect and kindness? Let’s face it. We are all different. We are diverse. We come from all walks of life and that’s not just okay, but beautiful.
We go into this week with our eye on Washington. All signs point to a favorable outcome with Senate amendments to the bill headed back to the House for approval before heading to President Biden to sign it into law. YWCA South Florida applauds all of the elected officials who took a stand for marriage equality and human rights.
However, even if the Respect for Marriage Act becomes law, our work will not be done. The act does not require states to perform same-sex or interracial marriages, putting these unions at risk if the Supreme Court is presented with and takes the opportunity to overturn Obergefell v. Hodges, like it did Roe v. Wade. There are no doubt people who are already working hard to do so. We cannot let our guard down. We must continue to fight to eliminate bigotry and racism of all kinds.
We stand in solidarity with our LGBTQ+ community. We know that full, nationwide protection is still needed. In the meantime, we celebrate the beauty of marriage between two people who love one another and, as part of our mission, we will continue to fight until justice just is.
And as always, your vote is your voice and power. You can use it at any time, not just at the ballot box. Reach out to your elected officials. They work for us, the people. Put them to the test. You can help shape our future.