How the Federal Respect for Marriage Act Affects Hoosier Families

click for a free consultation

Since the groundbreaking civil rights victory in Obergefell codified same-sex marriage in 2015, same-sex couples across America have utilized the legal protection to build their lives and their families. However, there have been some recent insinuations from the Supreme Court that the legal principle of substantive due process may be getting a new, conservative-leaning interpretation. Substantive due process not only is one of the key building blocks that fortifies same-sex marriage but also interracial marriage. Therefore, federal legislators have rapidly taken action to protect marriage through legislation, rather than waiting to see if the Supreme Court decides to revisit their own ruling.

Post-Thanksgiving, as Hoosiers are slowly getting back to work, the Senate is moving forward on the passage of the Respect for Marriage Act. This bipartisan bill, which will explicitly protect same-sex and interracial marriage, has the support of Indiana’s own Republican Senator, Todd Young, as well as eleven other GOP senators. The federal House of Representatives has already passed their equivalency of the bill in July of this year.

How Hoosiers Are Affected:

If the Respect for Marriage Act passes in the Senate and is signed into law by President Biden, couples in same-sex or interracial marriages will have their marriage recognized in every state, under the duty of Full Faith and Credit. This gives immense comfort and clarity for those in existing marriages that their marriage will continue to be respected under the law. However, federally recognized marriage however does not mean that states can’t try to create laws refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples; this may be an issue that states will have to enshrine in their own laws. Additionally, the measure will prevent any federal recognition of polygamous marriages.

If you are in a same-sex or interracial marriage, rest assured that Banks & Brower’s capable attorneys have an extensive history of meeting the wide range of family law needs of our clients. Give us a call 24/7/365 at 317.526.4630 or email us at