New same-sex marriage codify

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Last week, the Senate passed legislation to protect same-sex and interracial marriage, called the Respect for Marriage Act, in a landmark bipartisan vote.

The House will now need to approve the legislation before sending it to President Joe Biden’s desk to be signed into law. The House is expected to pass the bill before the end of the year – possibly as soon as next week.

While the bill would not set a national requirement that all states must legalize same-sex marriage, it would require individual states to recognize another state’s legal marriage. Jeremy Helfgot of J.M. Helfgot Communications speaks more about the bill.

Where does the act stand?

“The bill is currently in the House, House Resolution 8404. There was word this morning from majority leader Hoyer that there is a plan to vote on the Senate amendments next week, and from there assuming it passes the House, which we expect it to, it will go to the President’s desk for his signature. President Biden has made publicly clear that he does plan to sign it into law,” explained Helfgot.

What does this bill call for?

“There are couple of elements to the Respect for Marriage Act that are critical. First and most significant is the repeal of DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act, will be off the books and that’s a good thing in terms of general policy,” said Helfgot.

This allows for relief for same-gender and interracial couples.

The act is supposed to require all 50 states and territories to, “acknowledge, recognize and accept marriage licenses granted by any other state or territory that has the authority to do so,” said Helfgot.

“What the law doesn’t do is it doesn’t guarantee the right to those marital unions state by state. It essentially would put the framework back to allowing individual states to determine for themselves whether or not they are going to issue those licenses,” said Helfgot.

“It’s still far from perfect and definitely is going to leave some uncertainty. The importance is that at least for now once the bill is signed couples who are already living in marriage will be protected,” said Helfgot.

Jeremy Helfgot, J.M. Helfgot Communications

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