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Mr. CICILLINE. Mr. Speaker, today we will vote for equality and against discrimination by finally overturning the exclusionary, homophobic Defense of Marriage Act and guaranteeing crucial protections for same-sex and interracial marriages.
By passing the Respect for Marriage Act, we will ensure that all Americans continue to be afforded the same rights by the government--no matter what the Supreme Court may decide in the future.
As we take this vote, we can take pride in the progress that we have made but also must acknowledge the work that lies ahead.
The idea of marriage equality used to be a farfetched idea; now it is the law of the land and supported by the vast majority of Americans. Marriage bans used to be a partisan tool. Now, the Respect for Marriage Act has received strong bipartisan votes in both Chambers.
Protecting marriage equality is now a bipartisan idea that I hope all my colleagues will embrace. I urge all those here today who previously voted against this bill to reconsider, be part of history, and join us in voting for its passage today.
Today's vote is a monumental win in the fight for LGBTQ+ equality, but the work does not stop here. We remain the only minority group in America where in a majority of States it is still legal to discriminate against us in several key areas of life.
We must continue to work for full equality for the LGBTQ+ community, including by enacting additional protections at the State level and finally passing the Equality Act to ensure explicit Federal protections against anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination.
I want to end by thanking Chairman Nadler for his extraordinary leadership. He has been a champion of this bill for more than 13 years. I was proud to join him and others in introducing the Respect for Marriage Act again this Congress.
Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to vote ``yes,'' vote for equality, and vote to be certain that we live in a country where all Americans have equal access to the important institution of marriage.
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