WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) issued the following statement after the Senate voted to pass the Respect for Marriage Act, legislation that would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and extend federal protections for gay and interracial marriages:
“Marriage is not only a spiritual bond between two individuals, it’s also a binding contract that cements essential benefits, rights, and privileges. This bill will ensure that gay marriages are recognized across the country, thereby protecting same-sex couples from discrimination that would otherwise block their access to health care, paid family medical leave, hospital visitation, and parental rights — among many others. I was proud to vote for this piece of legislation and urge my colleagues in the House of Representatives to pass it and send it to the President’s desk soon.
“This is a meaningful step to protect rights already established by the Obergefell ruling, but Virginia still has a ban on same-sex marriages at the state level, and it’s time to repeal it.”