New York Congressman Jerrold Nadler on Thursday cheered gay rights victories on election night and challenged colleagues to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the 1996 law which forbids federal agencies from recognizing the legal marriages of gay and lesbian couples.

Nadler is the House sponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal DOMA.

While the Supreme Court is likely to hear a DOMA-related case this session, a ruling striking down the law would leave an uneven legal landscape for married couples. Provisions in the Respect for Marriage Act would allow the federal government to recognize such marriages even in the case where a couple lives in a state where marriage equality is not legal. For example, the federal government would recognize the Massachusetts marriage of a gay couple living in Ohio, where they are not allowed to marry.

“This week's progress in advancing the rights of LGBT Americans is undeniable,” Nadler said in a statement. “With victory for marriage equality initiatives in three states, the election of my friend Tammy Baldwin as the first openly gay U.S. Senator, the election of a record number of openly LGBT Members of the House, and the reelection of a President who supports the freedom of all Americans to legally marry whichever person they choose, we have made significant strides toward equality. I am elated by this progress and I look forward to returning to Congress with the knowledge that our nation is truly changing.”

“I also would like to take this profound moment in our national history to challenge my colleagues in Congress, Democrats and Republicans alike, governors and state legislators across the country, and people in positions of power everywhere to join our movement now. Now is the time for courageous leadership that will guide Americans toward a not-so-distant future when ALL Americans are truly equal. I urge you to join us now or you will become increasingly irrelevant, isolated, and ignored amidst an unmistakable reality. So, let us pass the Respect for Marriage Act to repeal DOMA, let us achieve marriage equality in each state, and let us declare that LGBT Americans have the same rights to love, happiness, family, and equality as all Americans – and let us do it NOW.”