Here's What Would Happen If The Respect For Marriage Act Doesn't Pass

Following the shocking overturn of Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court case that protected abortion access throughout the United States, many Americans are concerned that other rights could be easily overturned.

According to Politico, abortion rights were at the forefront of many women's minds when they went into the voting booth during the midterm elections this November. Democrats won or maintained important seats in Congress due to the overturning of Roe v. Wade. There is a fear that other rights, like marriage for LGBTQ+ people, could be the next in line to be stripped away in the Supreme Court.

As a result, Congress wrote a law to protect marriages (via The Hill). The legislation would overturn the Defense of Marriage Act and guarantee all marriages are given full legal protections.

While the bill passed through the senate with a 62-37 vote, there is still a chance it could fall through. Here is what would happen if that is the case.

The Respect for Marriage Act is a stepping stone for LGBTQ+ marriage protection

If the Respect for Marriage Act passes, it would repeal the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which prevented the federal government from respecting marriages that were conducted under state law for LGBTQ+ couples (via the ACLU). DOMA has many other parts to it, most of which were struck down with the Supreme Court ruling United States v. Windsor. However, with the overturning of Roe v. Wade, there is a chance the Windsor ruling could be next.

The Respect for Marriage Act looks to have these same-sex marriages recognized by all states. However, the bill doesn't extend many other protections (via Slate). As a result, some Democrats are pushing back on this law, hoping for something better. However, this legislation lays down the foundation for further protection.

If the bill does not pass, there is a chance that marriage equality could be put at risk like abortion access was. The Respect for Marriage Act, while not perfect, helps to recognize same-sex marriages across the country, which is an important start.