House Votes To Protect Same Sex Marriage In Anticipation Of Possible Supreme Court Ruling

·2 min read
Photo:  Andres Kudacki (AP)
Photo: Andres Kudacki (AP)

On Tuesday, the House passed the Respect For Marriage Act Tuesday to codify same-sex marriage being legal nationwide. It’s a very real possibility that the conservative majority on the Supreme Court could overturn it the same way they overturned Roe v. Wade last month.

The vote was 267-157; 47 Republicans joined the whole Democratic caucus in supporting the act. Some of the GOP lawmakers who voted in favor of the measure included: Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York and the No. 3 Republican in the House.

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Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota and House Freedom Caucus Chair Scott Perry of Pennsylvania also supported the bill. House Minority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana and House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy of California voted against the measure.

The bill would sanctify legal same-sex marriage for the purposes of federal law, repeal the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 and add legal protections for same-sex married couples. Democrats believe that a concurring opinion by Justice Clarence Thomas calling on the court to reverse the ruling puts same-sex marriage in danger.

Thomas also wants to eliminate legalizing contraception after the court eliminated the constitutional right to an abortion. Later this week, House Democrats plan on voting on a similar bill to codify the right to contraception, which was legalized in the 1965 Griswold v. Connecticut ruling.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the bill would: “enshrine into law a fundamental freedom: the right to marry whomever you choose. As radical justices and right-wing politicians continue their assault on our basic rights, Democrats believe that the government has no place between you and the person you love.”

In a statement, the White House said:

“This legislation would secure marriage equality in the United States. The right to marriage confers vital legal protections, dignity, and full participation in our society. No person should face discrimination because of who they are or whom they love, and every married couple in the United States deserves the security of knowing that their marriage will be defended and respected.”