Sen. Carper Statement on Historic Senate Passage of the Respect for Marriage Act 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) today issued the below statement following the Senate passage of the Respect for Marriage Act:

“Everyone deserves the right to marry who they love—no matter their race, gender, or sexual orientation. Today, I was proud to support the bipartisan Respect for Marriage Act to protect the sacred and fundamental right to marry for LGBTQ+ Americans in the First State and throughout our country. I am overjoyed for the countless LGBTQ+ Delawareans and Americans who have made lifelong commitments to one another, exchanged vows, and started families. It is a historic moment for our nation, and a testament to what can happen when policymakers embrace the Golden Rule: ‘treat others the way you want to be treated.’  

“For the past seven years, marriage equality has been the law of the land, thanks to the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Obergefell v Hodges. In writing the majority opinion recognizing the constitutional right to same-sex marriage, former Justice Anthony Kennedy, who was appointed by President Reagan, writes that, ‘No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family.’ I couldn’t have said it better. Every American deserves the constitutional right to enter into that profound union—marriage—with the person they love. 

“Unfortunately, tucked away in the Supreme Court’s radical Dobbs v. Jackson decision earlier this summer, which overturned nearly 50 years of precedent for women to make their own health care decisions, Justice Thomas cast doubt on whether the Constitution protects marriage equality. Let me be clear: today’s vote to protect same-sex marriage says to the Supreme Court and to the American people that we are not going back. LGBTQ+ Americans can now rest assured that they are afforded equal dignity under the law, and I look forward to this bill being signed into law by President Biden to make it official.”