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Shaheen Statement on Advancement of Crucial Marriage Equality Legislation

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) issued the following statement after the U.S. Senate advanced the Respect for Marriage Act, key legislation that gives millions of same-sex and interracial couples the certainty they deserve to enjoy the freedoms and rights that all other marriages experience. 

“Today, the U.S. Senate paved the way to ensure millions of same-sex and interracial couples continue to enjoy the same rights as all other spouses in the United States. Long overdue and urgently needed, this bipartisan legislation will guarantee that all Americans, no matter whom they love, have the peace of mind that their marriage will be equally recognized throughout the United States,” said Shaheen. “No politician should have a say in defining a couple’s relationship or infringing on fundamental rights shared by spouses, from deeply personal medical decisions to tax benefits or visiting a loved one in the hospital. I look forward to joining colleagues across the aisle to make it official in the Senate and to deliver this bill to the House of Representatives as swiftly as possible.”

The Respect for Marriage Act requires the federal government and all states to recognize marriages as legal if they’ve been performed legally in any state. The Senate’s action today paves the way for a vote on final passage in the Senate. The legislation, which originated in the House of Representatives and was co-lead by U.S. Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) and is being amended by the Senate. It will be reconsidered in the House of Representatives before it is sent to the President to be signed into law. Senator Shaheen is a cosponsor of Senate companion legislation.