Republican congressmen Dold & Curbelo sign on to Respect for Marriage Act

This week, Illinois Congressman Robert Dold and Florida Congressman Carlos Curbelo, Republican represntatives, signed on as cosponsors of the Respect for Marriage Act, the bill that would repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act.

The Respect for Marriage Act was reintroduced on January 6, 2015, and would ensure that the federal government respects all valid marriages across every single federal agency. Congressmen Dold and Curbelo join Republican cosponsors Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Richard Hanna, raising the total to three Republican cosponsors.

Congressman Dold expressed the importance of this bipartisan bill:

This legislation is an important step toward ensuring that the federal government upholds its obligation to afford equal protection for all Americans. Washington should no longer stand in the way of loving unions between two people that have already been legally recognized in states like the one I represent.

Evan Wolfson, president and founder of Freedom to Marry, yesterday applauded Congressman Dold on his decision to cosign the bill:

"The growth of support among Republicans for the freedom to marry shows that America is, indeed, ready to turn the page on past discrimination and that it is time for the Supreme Court to bring the country to national resolution. A majority of Republicans under 50 and a super-majority of Republicans under 30 support the freedom to marry -- alongside a majority of Independents and a super-majority of the American people. Congressman Dold is doing the right thing for his party, as well as for families and the American people."

Legally married same-sex couples continue to suffer discrimination in the areas of Social Security and veterans’ benefits, which are determined by federal law based on whether the state in which they reside respects the marriage. If a same-sex couple is legally married but lives in or moves to a state that doesn’t respect the marriage, they cannot share in these programs. The Respect for Marriage Act fixes this inequity with a provision that requires the federal government to respect all legal marriages for the purposes of all federal programs.