WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Congressman Mark Pocan (WI-02), Co-Chair of the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus, spoke on the House Floor in support of the Respect for Marriage Act (H.R. 8404). The Respect for Marriage Act repeals the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act, protects marriage equality for federal purposes, and provides additional protections at the state level.

This bill passed with a vote of 258-169-1 and now heads to President Biden’s desk for his signature.

Click here or the image to watch the full speech, and find the transcript of Rep. Pocan’s remarks below.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. 

It’s never too late to do the right thing. 

Thanks to bipartisan work in the Senate, the Respect for Marriage Act comes back to the House with added language that should allay anyone’s fears or misunderstandings, yet still ensure we can legally recognize marriage as is currently recognized in this country. 

It would be wrong to say that my husband, Phil, and I have a marriage that is any different than anyone else’s marriage here in this body. 

My workplace health insurance should extend to my husband just like yours extends to your spouse. 

I should be able to visit my husband in the hospital if need be, just like you can visit your spouse. 

My earned benefits for retirement and Social Security, our property rights, our benefits through our taxes, and so much more should be no different regardless of if your spouse is named Samuel or Samantha.

That’s what we will do today. 

With revised Respect for Marriage Act, denying legal recognition to any legally married couple would be so far out of the mainstream, that it would actually be discrimination. 

And I’m sure no one here would intend to discriminate against me and my spouse, as I would never against you and yours. 

I urge everyone’s support for this bill. 

I yield back.

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