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Marriage is a powerful legal and social institution that protects and supports intimate family relationships by providing a unique set of rights, privileges, and benefits. The following states have achieved marriage equality: 

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • Iowa
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Maryland
  • Minnesota
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
  • Washington
  • Washington, DC

Since 2000, PFLAG has had an official policy statement on marriage equality that states its opposition to any attempts at either the federal or state level to introduce constitutional amendments restricting marriage to heterosexual couples, rendering LGBT people second-class citizens.

Understanding the Issue:

Federal Opposition To Marriage Equality:

State Opposition To Marriage Equality:


Respect for Marriage Act (RMA):

Bill Number:
The Respect for Marriage Act was introduced in the in the House as H.R. 2523 by Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and in the Senate as S. 1236 by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), both on June 26, 2013. As of publication, the House version of this bill has 181 co-sponsors and the Senate version has 45 co-sponsors.

What this Bill Will Do:

The Respect for Marriage Act (RMA) repeals Section 2 of DOMA and provides same-sex couples with certainty that federal benefits and protections would flow from a valid marriage celebrated in a state where such marriages are legal, even if a couple moves or travels to another state.

What You Need to Ask For:

Urge your Senator or Representative to support and co-sponsor the Respect for Marriage Act or thank them if they have already done so.

PFLAG Talking Points:

  • Americans Support Extending Protections to Same-Sex Couples. The system of federal benefits has always been based on marriage, and while some same-sex marriages are sure to receive benefits where they live provided that their marriage is legal where celebrated, others are not. This would grant the same rights to same-sex married couples to be recognized to the extent provided by law where they live.

  • SCOTUS struck down Section 3 of DOMA on June 26, 2013.  RMA would repeal DOMA’s Section 2. This bill repeals DOMA in its entirety and ensures that all married couples have certainty that federal benefits and protections are portable from a marriage valid where performed, even if the couple moves or travels.

  • Allows States to Determine Legal Relationships. The bill does not require states that have not yet enacted legal protections for same-sex couples to recognize a marriage.  Nor does it obligate any person, state, locality, or religious organization to celebrate or license a marriage between two persons of the same sex.  This legislation only requires the federal government to equally apply its policy of looking to the states in determining what legal relationships are eligible for federal benefits.

Important Notes:

  • As of publication, the House version of this bill has 181 co-sponsors and the Senate version has 45 co-sponsors.

  • The bill was referred to the House Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice, and the Senate Committee on the Judiciary.

Additional Marriage Resources: