As the U.S. Senate prepares to vote on the Respect for Marriage Act, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has mobilized 173 major businesses to sign a letter encouraging passage of the bill. Disney, Comcast NBCUniversal, Apple and Sony are among the businesses.
The letter, which will be delivered to every senator in the country, states that the signatories value diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
“Americans from all walks of life, across demographics, geographies, and party lines agree that loving, committed couples have the right to be respected and protected under the law,” the letter reads. “No person, including same-sex couples and interracial couples protected by this bill, should fear their marriage will not be recognized by the federal government or their employment benefits threatened.”
If passed in the Senate, the Respect for Marriage Act would nationally codify federal marriage equality by guaranteeing the rights, benefits and obligations of marriages in the federal code. In what would be a significant stride in advancing LGBTQ rights, the new piece of legislation would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, and affirm that public acts, records and proceedings are recognized by all states.
“For the first time in our nation’s history, we are so close to codifying marriage equality as the law of our land — so close to ensuring that every family will have the freedom to love whom they love,” HRC interim president Joni Madison said. “I thank the 173 businesses who have taken a stand and joined the fight for LGBTQ+ equality on behalf of their employees and customers, for whom this is entirely personal.”
The bill passed the House in a vote of 267-157, with 47 Republicans voting in favor. The Senate will now need 60 votes in favor, in order to overcome a filibuster.