Human rights campaign mobilizes more than 220 businesses and more than 43,000 supporters to rally behind Senate vote on Respect for Marriage Act

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With Congress now back in session and passage of the Respect for Marriage Act a top priority in the Senate, the human rights campaign mobilizes 226 major corporations representing more than 8.5 million employees, its more than 3 million highly committed members and supporters, and the 62 million “Equality Voters” to ask the US Senate to pass the Respect for Marriage Act (RMA). Legislation that would nationally codify federal marriage equality by securing federal marriage rights, benefits, and obligations in the federal code; repeal the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA); and affirm that public documents, records and procedures are recognized by all states.

“As we head towards a Senate vote for the Respect for Marriage Act, we are so close to codifying marriage equality as the law of our country – so close to ensuring that everyone will have the freedom to love who he loves without fear that his right to do so might be taken away in the future,” said Joni Madison, Acting President of the Human Rights Campaign. “When we bring our individual voices together in a united roar, there’s nothing we can’t accomplish. I salute the thousands of people who picked up the phone or wrote a letter to their senator. And I thank the 226 companies who have joined the fight for LGBTQ+ equality on behalf of their employees and customers, for whom this is very personal. But we can’t let go; we must keep digging, doing the hard work and demanding that the law on respect for marriage be adopted and promulgated.

The day after Dobbs, it is more important than ever that Congress enshrine in law the civil liberties protected by the courts. In July, the Respect for Marriage Act passed the United States House of Representatives 267 to 157, garnering 47 Republican votes, proving that support for marriage equality is widespread and bipartisan. In August, HRC announced that 173 companies had signed a letter calling for the bill to be passed. This number of companies has now increased to 226.

“IBM, joined by more than 220 other companies, proudly signed this letter urging the U.S. Senate to pass the Respect for Marriage Act to protect marriage equality for purposes of federal law,” said Carla Grant Pickens. , director of diversity and inclusion at IBM. . “No American should fear the legality of their marriage or adoption, and this legislation gives Congress a chance to affirm our American values ​​of equality and fairness for all.”

“We must fight to ensure that marriage equality remains the law of the land. In keeping with our inclusive values ​​and long-standing support for the LGBTQ+ community, KIND proudly supports the Respect for Marriage Act and urges the Senate to vote in favor of protecting marriage equality nationwide” , said Russell Stokes, CEO of Kind.

“It is time for leaders to show conviction for the fair and equitable treatment of everyone. At Logitech, we stand for equality in all its forms and are proud to continue our support of HRC and its efforts to pass the Respect for Marriage Act,” said Bracken Darrell, CEO of Logitech.

Since the adoption of the RFMA in the Chamber:

  • 226 companies have signed a letter to senators urging them to pass the Respect for Marriage Act. These companies:
    • Employ over 8.5 million U.S.-based employees

    • Are based in 27 states and the District of Columbia, with employees and operations in all 50 states

    • Represent a diversity of industries, including banking and financial services, technology, telecommunications, entertainment, hospitality, retail and transportation.

  • 43,942 HRC members, supporters and volunteers took action by email or phone to their senators

  • Over 10,000 phone calls were made by HRC supporters to their respective senators, including:
    • More than 600 calls in Pennsylvania

    • Over 500 calls in Ohio

    • Over 500 calls to Texas

    • More than 500 calls in Florida

    • More than 400 calls in North Carolina

    • More than 300 calls in Missouri

  • Over 33,000 emails were sent by HRC supporters to their respective senators, including:
    • More than 2,900 emails in Pennsylvania

    • Over 2,500 emails in Ohio

    • Over 1,800 emails in Florida

    • Over 1,800 emails in North Carolina

    • Over 1,700 emails in Texas

    • Over 1,600 emails in Indiana

Over 220 major companies join HRC’s signature letter urging US Senate to pass Respect for Marriage Act

The HRC mobilized 226 businesses to join in a signature letter urging senators to pass the Respect for Marriage Act, the letter was hand-delivered to the Senate last month. The open letter says the signatory companies value diversity and inclusion in the workplace and encourages senators to federally codify marriage equality.

Signatories to the letter are: Adobe Inc., Omnicom, Vail Resorts, Carbon Health, Petco, Prudential, PVH, Link Logistics, Sysco, Starbucks, WPP, Google, Bloomberg, Motive, Kind, Logitech, Lyft, Bayer, IBM, Lush, Ecolab, BP, Uber, Ascentia Brands & Talbots, Kohl’s, McKesson, Group M and Match Group.

Key excerpts from the letter below:

“Fairness, equal treatment and opportunity are at the heart of our corporate values, as we care about our employees and the customers we serve. Americans of all backgrounds, demographics, geographies, and partisans agree that loving, committed couples have the right to be respected and protected by law.

“[This bill] will help ensure marriage equality, eliminate confusion for employers and enable us to retain and attract talent. No one, including same-sex couples and interracial couples protected by this bill, should worry that their marriage will not be recognized by the federal government or that their employment benefits will be threatened.

“Inclusive business practices improve our bottom line and lead to more productive and engaged employees, increased customer satisfaction, and ultimately, improved competitiveness and financial performance.”

More than two-thirds of people support marriage equality

According to Gallup, 71% of Americans support same-sex marriage. 55% of Republicans support same-sex marriage, along with 83% of Democrats and 73% of independents. The latest PRRI survey this year found that support for marriage equality has increased by 14 percentage points since 2014 (54%). Today, majorities of most religious groups support marriage equality. White evangelical Protestants (35%) and Latter-day Saints (46%) remain the only major religious groups not to overwhelmingly support marriage equality. According to the last census, about 58% (568,000) of couples in the country’s 980,000 same-sex households were married and about 42% were unmarried partners.

HRC is uniquely positioned to mobilize our members, supporters and business allies in support of this legislation. We are mobilizing our grassroots army of over 3 million members, supporters and volunteers to reach out to their senators and encourage them to pass this important legislation. Additionally, the HRC has identified 62 million “equality voters” nationwide for whom LGBTQ+ equality is a critical issue that we are mobilizing to support this effort through an aggressive advocacy campaign.

Main provisions of the bill

The Respect for Marriage Act would ensure that marriage equality is protected nationwide through several provisions:

  • Repealing the Defense of Marriage Act of the 1990s. Adopted in 1996, it discriminated in two important ways. First, Section 2 of DOMA seeks to allow states to refuse to recognize valid civil marriages of same-sex couples. Second, section 3 of the act excludes all same-sex couples, regardless of marital status, from all federal laws, regulations, and rulings applicable to all other married people, thereby denying them more than 1,100 benefits and federal protections. DOMA was rendered inapplicable, in two stages, by the 2013 decision of the Supreme Court Windsor v. United States decision and the 2015 Oberfell v. Hodges decision.

  • Establishing this “celebration venue” is the standard for recognition of federal benefits of a same-sex marriage. Under this provision, if marriage equality were to cease to be recognized in a given state, same-sex couples who travel to marry in another state – a state where same-sex marriages are still recognized – would still retain federal marriage benefits.

  • Affirming that public documents, records and procedures must be recognized by all States. Adoption orders, divorce decrees, and other public acts must be honored by all states in accordance with the Full Faith and Credit clause of the United States Constitution.

  • Codify the federal protections conferred by the Windsor and Oberefell decisions. These landmark decisions have declared the ban on equal marriage to be unconstitutional.

Washington Post Editorial: The Senate must unite on marriage equality

The senses. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, published a joint op-ed in The Washington Post calling on their colleagues to come together and emulate the bipartisan vote the Respect for Marriage Act received in the House deputies.

Key excerpts from Baldwin and Collins’ editorial:

“People living in same-sex and interracial marriages need and should know that their marriage is legal. These loving couples should be guaranteed the same rights and freedoms of any other marriage.

“Over the past 30 years, Americans have become more supportive of marriage equality. In 1996, less than a third of Americans – just 27% – supported same-sex marriages. 2022, more than 70% of Americans support marriage equality, including a majority of Democrats, Republicans and independents.

“This legislation has won bipartisan support in Congress because it gives same-sex and interracial couples the certainty that they will continue to receive the same equal treatment under federal law as all other married couples.”

“We have worked across party lines to rally the Senate and build support for the Respect for Marriage Act because we should be able to agree that same-sex and interracial couples, regardless of location residency, both need and deserve the assurance that their marriage will be recognized by the federal government and that they will continue to enjoy the freedoms, rights and responsibilities that accompany all other marriages.

Read more:

HRC President Joni Madison’s NBC Op-Ed: Opponents of marriage equality face an uphill battle

CNN Op-Ed by Jared Sine of Match Group: Americans should be able to marry whoever they want. But some senators are not in favor of protecting this right

Washington Post Editorial: Senators, Pass the Respecting Marriage Act

Wall Street Journal Op-Ed: Congress should codify same-sex marriage

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