After overwhelmingly passing the U.S. House of Representatives in July, the Respect for Marriage Act – which aims to protect same-sex marriage and interracial marriage – is now pending in the Senate and is expected to be voted on in September.
This pending legislation comes in reaction to the Supreme Court decision in June to overturn Roe v. Wade, the court decision that made abortions legal in all 50 states. There’s been talk of the Supreme Court looking to overturn same-sex marriage and interracial marriage next, which is why the Respect for Marriage Act is vital.
Some Republicans in the Senate have indicated they will vote for the bill. The Associated Press reports that “Democrats need 10 GOP votes to overcome a filibuster and get the legislation through the 50-50 Senate.”
Companies Support Passing the Legislation
Ever since Roe v. Wade was overturned, some companies have come out in support of abortions by offering to help employees pay for abortion-related travel expenses.
To further show support for their employees, companies are also showing their support for the passage of the Respect for Marriage Act.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is helping with this endeavor to call on the Senate to pass the bill. HRC came together with 173 major companies representing over 5.3 million employees to write a letter to U.S. Senators asking them to pass the bill.
Of the major companies supporting this effort, many of them are on DiversityInc’s 2022 Top 50 Companies for Diversity list. Some of the signatories include:
- Accenture (No. 1 on the list)
- Toyota Motor North America (No . 4)
- Comcast NBCUniversal (No. 7)
- BASF (No. 12)
- TIAA (No. 8)
- CVS Health (No. 28)
- General Motors (No. 36)
In the letter, HRC states that “fairness, equal treatment and opportunity are central to our corporate values because we care about our employees and the customers we serve.”
“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 continues.
The letter also serves as a way to help employees feel comfortable with their employer and offers a hiring and retention strategy for the more than 170 that signed it.
“[This bill] will help to ensure marriage equality, eliminate confusion for employers and enable us to retain and attract talent,” the letter states. “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.”
Supporting LBGTQ+ Employees
This pending legislation serves as an important reminder to check in with employees at work to gauge how they are feeling about topics affecting civil rights.
When it comes to connecting with LGBTQ+ employees, our 2022 Pride Month Meeting in a Box serves as a great tool for starting those conversations. Here are a few sample questions from the report to start with:
- How can companies continue to build an atmosphere of inclusion and belonging around the LGBTQ+ community, regardless of personal or religious views?
- What does it say about the United States to have so much LGBTQ+ legislation while at the same time having a significant amount of LGBTQ+ people in public office?
- What do you think we as a company can do to better support LGBTQ+ employees when certain segments of the media or politics are attacking them?