Tri-State LGBTQ leaders react to Respect for Marriage Act passing Senate vote

Tri-State LGBTQ leaders react to Respect for Marriage Act passing Senate vote
Published: Nov. 30, 2022 at 11:32 PM CST
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - The Respect for Marriage Act passed the U.S. Senate on Tuesday and awaits President Joe Biden’s final approval. The act enshrines same-sex marriage into national law.

Barbara Snyder and Yvon Lauren with Warrick County Pride told 14 News they were surprised the bill passed through Congress, but they have some concerns.

They said on the one hand, it protects same-sex marriages should the Supreme Court ever overturn the right to gay marriage.

“This was not just a Democrat bill, it passed 61-36,” Snyder said. “That gives me some hope for other bipartisan efforts that could benefit everybody going forward.”

The pair have been together for nearly 40 years, and they married in 2021.

Now that they’re married, the act, if signed by the president, would ensure that all states must recognize their union.

They’re concerned about what it doesn’t do.

“I worry,” said Lauren. “I worry about people trying to turn this back, I worry about it not protecting people in the future.”

The bill doesn’t make it so that all states have to allow same-sex marriages.

If the Supreme Court were to repeal the constitutional right to same-sex marriage, states could enact bans.

They would have to recognize existing marriages and marriages from states without bans.

“I don’t want anyone else who wants to get married to be told, ‘No,’ when they go up to the doors of the church,” Lauren said.

The bill also allows religious exemptions.

Lauren said she believes churches and non-profits shouldn’t be allowed to deny support to same-sex couples.

“[Religious organizations and non-profits] want to have a community that is strong,” she said. “They want to have children that are strong, and I think the way that you do that is you serve the entire population.”

They want couples to be able to make medical decisions, make financial decisions, and say, “We’re married” with the full backing and legitimacy of the law.

The Tri-State’s senators were divided on the bill.

Senators Dick Durbin, Tammy Duckworth and Todd Young all voted yes.

Senators Rand Paul, Mitch McConnell and Mike Braun all voted no on the Respect for Marriage Act.