NEWS

Congressman Troy Carter votes for marriage equality act

Staff Report

Congressman Troy Carter voted to send the Respect for Marriage Act to President Biden's desk, representing the lone vote in favor of the legislation among Louisiana's six representatives in the House.

A news release from Carter's office called the legislation landmark in defending marriage equality.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) as bipartisan Senate and House members participate in a bill enrollment ceremony for the "Respect For Marriage Act" on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 8.

"Today, I proudly voted to ensure the federal government never stands in the way of marrying the person you love," Carter stated. "As extreme MAGA Republicans threaten more of Louisianian and American personal liberties, the Democratic Congress is fighting to honor the dignity and equality of every American. The Respect for Marriage Act is a historic step forward in that fight – sending a clear signal that hate and bigotry have no place in America. This landmark legislation will uphold marriage equality under federal law: tearing DOMA off the books for good, enshrining married couples’ right to equal protection and barring discriminatory officials from invalidating out-of-state marriages."

The release pointed to Carter's lifelong advocacy for the rights and issues of the LGBTQ-plus community.

In 1993, as a Louisiana State Senator, he filed the first ever state bill to prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, the release continued. He continued advocating in a Republican-run State Capitol to pass that bill throughout his tenure as a state legislator.

SarahJane Guidry, executive director for the Forum for Equality, Louisiana’s leading lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender human rights organization, shared the following statement: "Today's victory is a shining example of how far we’ve come towards fully accepting and celebrating love, family, and the freedom to be our authentic selves. The Respect for Marriage Act will provide clarity and stability for hundreds of thousands of same-sex and interracial couples who are connected through the commitment of marriage. The momentum for the Respect for Marriage Act mirrors the overwhelming support for equal treatment for LGBTQ people among a supermajority of Americans, and here at home. It is a clear indication that the State of Louisiana needs to follow the example of Rep. Troy Carter, and work together to pass fundamental, basic rights for the LGBTQ community through bipartisan leadership."

U.S. Rep. Troy Carter, who represents Louisiana's second congressional district, is shown in a file photo during an event in Donaldsonville.

Previously passed by the House earlier this year, the Respect for Marriage Act was amended and advanced by the Senate last week.  The final bill goes to the President Biden' desk for his signature.

According to the release, the Respect for Marriage Act was strongly supported by leading advocacy organizations, including the ACLU, Center for American Progress, Equality Federation, Family Equality, Forum for Equality (Louisiana), Freedom for All Americans, GLAD, Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Legal, National Black Justice Coalition, National Center for Lesbian Rights, National Women’s Law Center and PFLAG.

Louisiana's 2nd congressional district is the only Democratic district in the state. It contains parts of the New Orleans area and spans west and north to the Baton Rouge area.

Gonzales Weekly Citizen and Donaldsonville Chief, part of the USA Today Network of Louisiana, cover Ascension Parish and the greater Baton Rouge area. Follow at facebook.com/WeeklyCitizen and facebook.com/DonaldsonvilleChief.