NY, New York— The Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) welcomes the enactment of the bipartisan Respect for Marriage Act, which the President signed into law today. This crucial law will ensure that same-sex and interracial couples will have their unions honored regardless of the state in which they reside. It will also protect their right to federal benefits.
The Respect for Marriage Act codifies Supreme Court cases Obergefell v. Hodges, Windsor v. United States, and Loving v. Virginia—a crucial step in protecting the LGBTQ+ community at a time when the Supreme Court has already overturned 50 years of legal precedent set by Roe v. Wade and may do the same for same-sex marriage. In addition, after more than 26 years, this Act finally repeals the Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as exclusively the union of a man and woman, and allowed states to deny recognition to same-sex couples married in other states.
JCPA has long advocated for LGBTQ+ rights, particularly their right to equal treatment under the law and the protection of their civil rights. As we stated in a September letter to the Senate signed by over 100 Jewish organizations:
Jewish tradition teaches that all people are created b’tzelem Elohim, in the Divine image, and are worthy of dignity and respect. As organizations grounded in Jewish values and beliefs, we have an ethical and moral responsibility to fight for a society that ensures the humanity of all people. Every person is entitled to marry who they love – regardless of sexual orientation or race.