GOP Support Grows for Respect for Marriage Act

Encouraging growth of support among unlikely allies

On February 2, Congressman Robert Dold (R-Ill.) became a co-sponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act, a bill that would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and make sure that the U.S. government recognizes all valid marriages across all federal agencies.

Congressman Dold joins a growing number of high-profile Republicans in Congress who have shown their support for marriage equality in recent months, including fellow House Republican co-sponsors Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla,) and Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.).

“The growth of support among Republicans for the freedom to marry shows that America is, indeed, ready to turn the page on past discrimination and that it is time for the Supreme Court to bring the country to national resolution,” said Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry.

The Respect for Marriage Act was first introduced in Congress four years ago. During the new congressional session on January 6, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) reintroduced the legislation that would repeal DOMA in its entirety. The Respect for Marriage Act would finish the good work that the Supreme Court started when they ruled Section 3 of DOMA unconstitutional in Windsor v U.S. in 2013.

While we expect Democrats in Congress to support the legislation, it’s obviously crucial to garner bipartisan support if it is to pass. The growing support of Republicans for the measure is an encouraging sign and seems to accurately reflect how the majority of Republicans feel about marriage equality.

“A majority of Republicans under 50 and a super-majority of Republicans under 30 support the freedom to marry—alongside a majority of Independents and a super-majority of the American people,” Wolfson said. “Congressman Dold is doing the right thing for his party, as well as for families and the American people.”

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