One Hundred Seventeenth Congress of the United States of America
At the Second Session
Begun and held at the City of Washington on Monday, the third day of January, two thousand and twenty-two
H. R. 8404
To repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and ensure respect for State regulation of marriage, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
Respect for Marriage Act.
Congress finds the following:
No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family.
Diverse beliefs about the role of gender in marriage are held by reasonable and sincere people based on decent and honorable religious or philosophical premises. Therefore, Congress affirms that such people and their diverse beliefs are due proper respect.
Millions of people, including interracial and same-sex couples, have entered into marriages and have enjoyed the rights and privileges associated with marriage. Couples joining in marriage deserve to have the dignity, stability, and ongoing protection that marriage affords to families and children.
Repeal of section added to title 28, United States Code, by section 2 of the Defense of Marriage Act
Section 1738C of title 28, United States Code, is repealed.
Full faith and credit given to marriage equality
Chapter 115 of title 28, United States Code, as amended by this Act, is further amended by inserting after section 1738B the following:
Certain acts, records, and proceedings and the effect thereof
No person acting under color of State law may deny—
full faith and credit to any public act, record, or judicial proceeding of any other State pertaining to a marriage between 2 individuals, on the basis of the sex, race, ethnicity, or national origin of those individuals; or
a right or claim arising from such a marriage on the basis that such marriage would not be recognized under the law of that State on the basis of the sex, race, ethnicity, or national origin of those individuals.
Enforcement by Attorney General
The Attorney General may bring a civil action in the appropriate United States district court against any person who violates subsection (a) for declaratory and injunctive relief.
Private right of action
Any person who is harmed by a violation of subsection (a) may bring a civil action in the appropriate United States district court against the person who violated such subsection for declaratory and injunctive relief.
In this section, the term State has the meaning given such term under section 7 of title 1.
Section 7 of title 1, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:
For the purposes of any Federal law, rule, or regulation in which marital status is a factor, an individual shall be considered married if that individual’s marriage is between 2 individuals and is valid in the State where the marriage was entered into or, in the case of a marriage entered into outside any State, if the marriage is between 2 individuals and is valid in the place where entered into and the marriage could have been entered into in a State.
In this section, the term State means a State, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any other territory or possession of the United States.
For purposes of subsection (a), in determining whether a marriage is valid in a State or the place where entered into, if outside of any State, only the law of the jurisdiction applicable at the time the marriage was entered into may be considered.
No impact on religious liberty and conscience
Nothing in this Act, or any amendment made by this Act, shall be construed to diminish or abrogate a religious liberty or conscience protection otherwise available to an individual or organization under the Constitution of the United States or Federal law.
Goods or services
Consistent with the First Amendment to the Constitution, nonprofit religious organizations, including churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, nondenominational ministries, interdenominational and ecumenical organizations, mission organizations, faith-based social agencies, religious educational institutions, and nonprofit entities whose principal purpose is the study, practice, or advancement of religion, and any employee of such an organization, shall not be required to provide services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges for the solemnization or celebration of a marriage. Any refusal under this subsection to provide such services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges shall not create any civil claim or cause of action.
No impact on status and benefits not arising from a marriage
Nothing in this Act, or any amendment made by this Act, shall be construed to deny or alter any benefit, status, or right of an otherwise eligible entity or person which does not arise from a marriage, including tax-exempt status, tax treatment, educational funding, or a grant, contract, agreement, guarantee, loan, scholarship, license, certification, accreditation, claim, or defense.
No Federal recognition of polygamous marriages
Nothing in this Act, or any amendment made by this Act, shall be construed to require or authorize Federal recognition of marriages between more than 2 individuals.
If any provision of this Act, or any amendment made by this Act, or the application of such provision to any person, entity, government, or circumstance, is held to be unconstitutional, the remainder of this Act, or any amendment made thereby, or the application of such provision to all other persons, entities, governments, or circumstances, shall not be affected thereby.
Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Vice President of the United States and President of the Senate.