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On Thursday, December 8th, 2022 the House of Representatives passed a bill that will most likely protect the rights of the American LGBTQ community on a federal level.

The Respect for Marriage Act vote took place and was passed with a 258-169-1 vote in the House in favor of passing the bill. A number of Republicans also voted for the bill to be passed, showing at least some bipartisan support.

Joe Biden has stated that he will officially sign it into law shortly, and provide huge legal support to rights for same-sex couples throughout the country.

However, it’s not all that simple. This act could face potential problems down the line if certain Supreme Court rulings were to be overturned.

In this article, we’ll go over the H.R.8404 – Respect for Marriage Act and what it means for same-sex couples throughout the United States, as well as the potential difficulties it may face.

Respect for Marriage Act and Gay Marriage

The Respect for Marriage Act offers further protection for same-sex couples. However, is same-sex marriage legal in the U.S.?

Since 2015 the U.S. Constitution protects the legality of same-sex marriage throughout the country due to the decision of the Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court case.

Having a legally recognized marriage is essential for civil rights, but also legal and spousal rights in the case of appointing a trustee or in case of separation, a divorce agreement.

If a couple’s marriage is not recognized in a certain state, it would mean the loss of their spousal benefits and rights.

The Respect for Marriage Act ensures that those types of rights will be respected across all 50 states.

However, even though gay marriage is currently protected by the U.S. Constitution, the House wanted to add further protection to the civil rights of the LGBTQ community.

This decision was made due to the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade in June 2022.

Before 2015, same-sex couples in a state that did not recognize gay marriage could only formalize their relationships through:

  • Common-law marriage in a state that recognizes it
  • Marriage in a state that recognizes gay marriage

However, in a state that did not fully recognize their marriage, it would be possible for a state to ignore their rights as a spouse.

With the Respect for Marriage Act soon to be passed, there will be less possibility of that happening in the future.

How Does the Respect for Marriage Act Work?

The passing of this new bill will ensure that two types of marriages are formally recognized at the federal level:

  • Same-sex marriage
  • Interracial marriage

With the current state of same-sex marriage as it is, it will make it easier for same-sex couples to have their partner appointed as a trustee and use documents such as:

Immediately, there will be no major changes to the daily lives of those being protected in the act, however, the act will function as an important security measure if any major decisions were to be overturned.

If the Supreme Court decision of Obergefell v. Hodges were to be overturned, it would mean that same-sex marriages would no longer be federally recognized.

It’s likely that if this were to happen then many, if not the vast majority, of states would not recognize same-sex marriage at the state level.

For the foreseeable future, it does not appear likely that the 2015 Supreme Court ruling will be overturned.

However, after the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the House wanted to ensure that same-sex marriage will be recognized in every state even if the Obergefell v. Hodges ruling is reversed.

The Respect for Marriage Act was passed to add that protection.

Main Changes of the Respect for Marriage Act

For the most part, same-sex couples will not notice much difference regarding their right to get married and have their marriage recognized throughout the United States.

However, a major change due to the Respect for Marriage Act is made concerning a bill passed into law in 1996.

The Respect for Marriage Act will formally repeal a law that was detrimental to the rights of the LGBTQ community, the Defense of Marriage Act.

The Defense of Marriage Act, which was signed into law nearly 30 years ago, made it so that couples of the same sex were not allowed to receive federal benefits.

More importantly, the act signed by President Clinton made it so that states did not have to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages.

While gay marriage is already legal,the new bill will formally reverse the Defense of Marriage Act.

Related Articles: Pros and Cons of Prenuptial Agreements

Helpful Resources:

Obergefell v. Hodges | OYEZ

Respect for Marriage Act | NPR

RMA Persuasion | Time

Bill H.R.8404 | Congress

On Thursday, December 8th, 2022 the House of Representatives passed a bill that will most likely protect the rights of the American LGBTQ community on a federal level.

The Respect for Marriage Act vote took place and was passed with a 258-169-1 vote in the House in favor of passing the bill. A number of Republicans also voted for the bill to be passed, showing at least some bipartisan support.

Joe Biden has stated that he will officially sign it into law shortly, and provide huge legal support to rights for same-sex couples throughout the country.

However, it’s not all that simple. This act could face potential problems down the line if certain Supreme Court rulings were to be overturned.

In this article, we’ll go over the H.R.8404 – Respect for Marriage Act and what it means for same-sex couples throughout the United States, as well as the potential difficulties it may face.

Respect for Marriage Act and Gay Marriage

The Respect for Marriage Act offers further protection for same-sex couples. However, is same-sex marriage legal in the U.S.?

Since 2015 the U.S. Constitution protects the legality of same-sex marriage throughout the country due to the decision of the Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court case.

Having a legally recognized marriage is essential for civil rights, but also legal and spousal rights in the case of appointing a trustee or in case of separation, a divorce agreement.

If a couple’s marriage is not recognized in a certain state, it would mean the loss of their spousal benefits and rights.

The Respect for Marriage Act ensures that those types of rights will be respected across all 50 states.

However, even though gay marriage is currently protected by the U.S. Constitution, the House wanted to add further protection to the civil rights of the LGBTQ community.

This decision was made due to the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade in June 2022.

Before 2015, same-sex couples in a state that did not recognize gay marriage could only formalize their relationships through:

  • Common-law marriage in a state that recognizes it
  • Marriage in a state that recognizes gay marriage

However, in a state that did not fully recognize their marriage, it would be possible for a state to ignore their rights as a spouse.

With the Respect for Marriage Act soon to be passed, there will be less possibility of that happening in the future.

How Does the Respect for Marriage Act Work?

The passing of this new bill will ensure that two types of marriages are formally recognized at the federal level:

  • Same-sex marriage
  • Interracial marriage

With the current state of same-sex marriage as it is, it will make it easier for same-sex couples to have their partner appointed as a trustee and use documents such as:

Immediately, there will be no major changes to the daily lives of those being protected in the act, however, the act will function as an important security measure if any major decisions were to be overturned.

If the Supreme Court decision of Obergefell v. Hodges were to be overturned, it would mean that same-sex marriages would no longer be federally recognized.

It’s likely that if this were to happen then many, if not the vast majority, of states would not recognize same-sex marriage at the state level.

For the foreseeable future, it does not appear likely that the 2015 Supreme Court ruling will be overturned.

However, after the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the House wanted to ensure that same-sex marriage will be recognized in every state even if the Obergefell v. Hodges ruling is reversed.

The Respect for Marriage Act was passed to add that protection.

Main Changes of the Respect for Marriage Act

For the most part, same-sex couples will not notice much difference regarding their right to get married and have their marriage recognized throughout the United States.

However, a major change due to the Respect for Marriage Act is made concerning a bill passed into law in 1996.

The Respect for Marriage Act will formally repeal a law that was detrimental to the rights of the LGBTQ community, the Defense of Marriage Act.

The Defense of Marriage Act, which was signed into law nearly 30 years ago, made it so that couples of the same sex were not allowed to receive federal benefits.

More importantly, the act signed by President Clinton made it so that states did not have to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages.

While gay marriage is already legal,the new bill will formally reverse the Defense of Marriage Act.

Related Articles: Pros and Cons of Prenuptial Agreements

Helpful Resources:

Obergefell v. Hodges | OYEZ

Respect for Marriage Act | NPR

RMA Persuasion | Time

Bill H.R.8404 | Congress