Opinion: The Respect for Marriage Act Deserves Bipartisan Support
But some senators don't support protecting that right.
Editor’s note: Jared Sine is chief business affairs & legal officer at Match Group. The opinions expressed regarding the Respect for Marriage Act in this commentary are his own.
(CNN) — One of the most important decisions a person can make in this life is who they choose to marry. It has certainly been my most important and best decision, as my wife, whose parents are first-generation immigrants from Mexico City, has had such an immensely positive impact on my life. I have often wondered what would have happened if I had not been able to choose to marry her or to do so in the sacred religious edifice where we did, because of unjust laws that once restricted interracial marriage, or future changes to laws that could diminish the right to choose who and where and when we marry.
It is something I’ve taken for granted, and it is essential for us to remember that these rights are as fragile as they are important. Indeed, most Americans will never understand the trauma that interracial and LGBTQIA+ couples endure — from the sideways glances to the senseless slurs — even though our laws have been interpreted by courts to protect these marriages. I can only imagine how painful it must be for many of these couples to now wonder whether their relationships are at risk, subject to the whim of a future Supreme Court decision. Just as I would hope that my religious right to choose where to marry is respected and my interracial marriage is upheld, we must ensure the same is true for our LGBTQIA+ friends and family, neighbors and co-workers. Unless everyone’s right to marriage is protected through bipartisan legislation, no marriage is safe.
Now, our elected leaders have an opportunity to do just that: to protect everyone’s right to marriage by passing the Respect for Marriage Act in the Senate. This legislation would protect marriages, regardless of ‘sex, race, ethnicity or national origin,’ by requiring them to be recognized under federal law if they were legal in the state in which they occurred. The House of Representatives recently passed the proposed legislation with bipartisan support, and it is my sincere hope that the bill will enjoy broad backing from across the political spectrum when it is under consideration in the Senate.
It’s encouraging to see that senators on both sides of the aisle are working tirelessly to secure the votes to pass this important bill. We applaud them for their courage and leadership on this issue, and look forward to working with them to ensure this legislation becomes law. But some senators, including those from Texas, the state I proudly choose to call home and where my employer Match Group is based, have signaled that they will not vote in support. Every vote counts, and I respectfully urge them to reconsider.
At Match Group, we want to be a friend and ally to help people of all backgrounds find that person who means the most to them; to love and marry, as they choose, whether based on their gender, race, religious preference or creed. And we are proud that our products have enabled millions of marriages and families around the world, including many LGBTQIA+ partners who may not have found each other otherwise.
Match Group strongly supports the passage of the Respect for Marriage Act and will launch a nationwide campaign on Tinder this week, alongside the Human Rights Campaign, to spotlight many of the amazing LGBTQIA+ couples who met on our platforms and urge the Senate to pass this bill. We remain committed to doing everything we can to ensure that no American is wondering whether their right to be their authentic selves and love who they love will one day be taken away.
We call on every senator, and as a Texas-based company, on our Texas senators, to support and pass the Respect for Marriage Act. This is about fairness for all, so let’s do the right thing for all Americans.
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