House Votes to Pass Bill to Protect Same-Sex Marriage After Roe v. Wade Decision

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Photo credit: Alessandro Biascioli - Getty Images
Photo credit: Alessandro Biascioli - Getty Images

The U.S. House of Representatives voted Tuesday to pass a bill that would protect same-sex marriage on a federal level.

The Respect for Marriage Act was introduced by Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York, the chair of the House Judiciary Committee.

The bipartisan final vote was 267 to 157, with 47 Republicans joining Democrats to vote for the bill. Now, it heads to the Senate, where at least 10 Republicans would need to support the bill in order for it to pass.

The vote comes amid growing fears from liberals that the majority-conservative Supreme Court could go after gay marriage following its attack on abortion rights with the takedown of Roe v. Wade.

In his leaked majority opinion, Justice Samuel Alito stated that unenumerated rights will not be recognized unless they are "deeply rooted in this nation’s history and tradition." These rights are those not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution, but rather those inferred from other rights and existing laws—such as same-sex marriage, which was legalized in all 50 states in 2015.

When Roe v. Wade was overturned last month, conservative Justice Clarence Thomas submitted an opinion that alarmed Democrats everywhere. In it, he suggested the court revisit cases that have already been decided related to reproductive rights and same-sex marriage.

He said, "Because any substantive due process decision is 'demonstrably erroneous,' we have a duty to 'correct the error' established in those precedents."

Since then, liberal activists and representatives have been pleading with the Biden administration to make a move to protect gay marriage, and last night, Democrats took a leap in that direction.

"The Supreme Court made it clear after they overturned Roe: the basic right to privacy – right up to marrying who you love – is at risk. Last night, 47 Republicans and all House Democrats took an important step to codify every American’s right to marry into law," President Joe Biden tweeted this morning.

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