President Biden Signs Respect for Marriage Act into Law

Brown Supported the Legislation in the Senate

WASHINGTON, D.C. – December 13, 2022 – Today, President Joe Biden signed into law the Respect for Marriage Act, which will protect same sex and interracial marriages, and was supported by U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH). Brown voted to pass the bipartisan legislation in November. It passed the Senate by a vote of 61-36.

“Ohioans should be able to marry whom they love,” said Brown. “All Americans deserve full civil rights under the law regardless of where they live. I’ll keep fighting to protect those rights.”

Brown has been a leading voice on marriage equality and is one of only seven current Senators who voted against the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, legislation which banned federal recognition of same-sex marriage by limiting the definition of marriage to the union of one man and one woman. In June, Brown led all 50 Senate Democrats in introducing a Senate resolution recognizing June as LGBTQ Pride Month. Brown introduced the first-ever Senate Pride Month Resolution in June 2017, after then-President Trump broke the eight-year tradition of offering an official presidential proclamation recognizing June as Pride Month. This is the fifth year in a row that Brown has introduced the resolution.

In 2021, Senate Democrats re-introduced the Equality Act, legislation to ensure civil rights laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The Equality Act would unequivocally ban discrimination in a host of areas, including employment, housing, public accommodations, jury service, access to credit, federal funding assistance, and education. 

In 2015, Brown joined 43 of his Senate colleagues and 167 members of the House of Representatives in filing an amicus brief in the Supreme Court stating that all couples deserve the right to marry regardless of which state they live in, as the Supreme Court prepared to hear Obergefell v. Hodges and determine whether it is constitutional for a state to refuse to recognize a same-sex marriage license issued in another state. The case was brought forward by Ohioan Jim Obergefell.