Senator Nelson Becomes Cosponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act

Today, January 7, U.S. Senator Bill Nelson signed on as a cosponsor 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 yesterday, January 6, and would ensure that the federal government respects all valid marriages across every single federal agency. The bill has 43 cosponsors in the Senate and 78 cosponsors in the House of Representatives.

Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry, applauded Senator Nelson on his support for the bill.

Senator Nelson has been an tremendous advocate for the freedom to marry and we are pleased that he is continuing his support by becoming a cosponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act. Senator Nelson's support comes at a crucial time as we await an oral argument in Florida's federal marriage case at the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. Floridians, like all Americans, deserve the freedom to marry. We are happy to have Senator Nelson on board.

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.