We commend Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02) for taking a stand on two critical issues that could be in danger after the overturning of Roe v. Wade: same-sex marriage and contraception.
Last week, Larsen voted for the bipartisan Respect for Marriage Act, legislation to enshrine marriage equality into federal law. The Respect for Marriage Act repeals the Defense of Marriage Act, a discriminatory federal law that excludes same-sex couples from marriage. The Respect for Marriage Act passed the House of Representatives by a final vote of 267 to 157 and now heads to the Senate for consideration.
“Marriage is a civil right, regardless of sex, race, ethnicity or national origin,” said Larsen. “I am proud to be from Washington state, which has led the way in extending marriage rights for all. Now, the Respect for Marriage Act will enshrine this right for Washingtonians and prohibit officials in other states from discriminating against same-sex and interracial couples.”
The Respect for Marriage Act includes several provisions to protect marriage equality:
Enshrining Marriage Equality into Federal Law: This legislation will require the federal government to fully recognize any marriage considered valid in the state where it was performed – providing same-sex and interracial couples additional certainty that they will continue to receive equal treatment under federal law.
• Repealing the Defense of Marriage Act: While the Supreme Court has effectively voided the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, the Respect for Marriage Act would officially repeal this discriminatory law.
• Barring Discrimination by State Officials: The Respect for Marriage Act prohibits state officials from denying recognition of an out-of-state marriage based on sex, race, ethnicity or national origin.
Notably, 157 Republican members of Congress voted against the Respect for Marriage Act, legislation to codify marriage equality and protect same-sex and interracial couples.
The Respect for Marriage Act is supported by leading advocacy organizations, including the ACLU, Center for American Progress, Equality Federation, Family Equality, Freedom for All Americans, GLAD, Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Legal, National Black Justice Coalition, National Center for Lesbian Rights, National Women’s Law Center and PFLAG.
Larsen also voted to defend Northwest Washingtonians’ right to access birth control. The bipartisan Right to Contraception Act, legislation to establish a statutory right to obtain, use and provide contraception under federal law, passed the House of Representatives by a final vote of 228 to 195 and now heads to the Senate for consideration.
“Contraception is key to improving health outcomes for women and families in Northwest Washington and across the country,” he said. “The Right to Contraception Act will protect the right to access contraceptives for Washingtonians and all Americans, and prohibit officials in other states from restricting the rights of patients to access birth control.”
We feel proud to live in a state with public officials who value the importance of rights for all United States citizens.