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NEA Press Release

Educators applaud passage of Bipartisan Respect for Marriage Act by the Senate

Legislation represents core values of equality and fairness
Published: November 29, 2022
This article originally appeared on

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate today passed the bipartisan Respect for Marriage Act, a bill that would help protect marriage equality now and in the future. The Senate took this necessary step toward codifying equality and fairness in the wake of the recent Dobbs U.S. Supreme Court decision that threatens critical legal protections for same-sex and interracial marriages.

The following statement can be attributed to NEA President Becky Pringle:

“No matter who we are, what we look like, or whom we love, all of us should have the freedom to love, marry, and raise a family with our chosen partner. These values were at the core of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in 2015 to uphold marriage equality. But the recent Dobbs decision and Justice Thomas’ concurring opinion—which signaled that rulings on marriage equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and contraception could be next—represents an attack on hard-fought Constitutional rights that are deeply rooted in the promise of America. This means that fundamental civil liberties are at risk if Judge Thomas and the Supreme Court majority get their way.

“The Respect for Marriage legislation would mean couples would be recognized as married in any state, so long as their marriages were valid in the state where they were performed. It would also preserve state and federal benefits for these marriages, should the courts open the door to legislation that would prohibit them.

“The bipartisan approval of this bill in the Senate sends an unequivocal message of fairness and respect for marriage and ensures that we have the needed safeguards in the law. We urge the U.S. House of Representatives to reaffirm its commitment to these values once again and protect marriage.”

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About the National Education Association: The National Education Association is the nation's largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators, students preparing to become teachers, healthcare workers, and public employees. Learn more at 


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