US Senate to Vote on Respect for Marriage Act – Call Today

lesbian wedding
People who did celebrate our wedding. Photo credit: Jared Wickerham

Today, the United States Senate may hold a procedural vote to forward the process of passing the ‘Respect for Marriage Act’ – federal recognition of marriage equality.

The Respect for Marriage Act, abbreviated as RFMA (H.R. 8404S. 4556), is a bill in the United States Congress to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and require the U.S. federal government to recognize the validity of same-sex and interracial marriages in the United States.

This does not mean the federal government is declaring marriage equality throughout the United States. That authority belongs to the states. Per current rulings from SCOTUS, same-sex and interracial marriages are constitutionally protected. If a future iteration of Dobbs were to undermine those rulings, this legislation would ensure things like “interstate” recognition of the marital contract. It ensures our marriages are acknowledged by the federal government in our interactions, including things like Social Security survivorship.

It is an important step for the federal government to correct their legislative history and codify the will of the people in regard to marriages, both same sex and interracial.

And yes it has plenty of clearly defined language around religious liberty.

The Act passed the House in a bipartisan vote on July 19, 2022. And today, November 16, 2022, the Senate will begin consideration. This could be a done deal by Friday. Today is a procedural vote to commit the Senate to vote for final passage. The final Senate passage is likely late Thursday or Friday.

The opposition calls every day, and the staff stacks and counts the tally. We want to give the staff a favorable number of calls they received with thanks or with calling for a YES vote. More than one call won’t count from constituents. But a constituent’s call on multiple days counts as multiple calls, one per day.

What I think this means is that your dogged perseverance in contacting them daily really matters. Just because you know Senator Casey is going to vote yes on this doesn’t mean it isn’t important to call him. It very much is. And we can’t count out Senator Toomey’s vote. He can be persuaded to acknowledge the will of the people. Even if he isn’t, he’ll retire on the wrong side of history, a lesson for future elections.

Here’s what you can do.

Call our current seated Senators and ask them to support the Respect for Marriage Act.

Call today, Wednesday.

Call tomorrow, Thursday.

Call Friday.

Senator Bob Casey
 Phone number:(412) 803-7370 or
Phone number:(202) 224-6324 or
text (202) 228-0604

Senator Pat Toomey
Phone: (412) 803-3501
Phone: (202) 224-4254

I never imagined this day might come. In fact, it snuck up on me because I simply wasn’t looking for it, just like flipping the Pennsylvania State House never seemed possible. Thankfully, I follow a lot of smart people who point these types of things out to me.

So, make these two calls today and tomorrow. And Friday.

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