The US House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed legislation to protect same-sex and interracial marriage amid concerns that a Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade could jeopardize other rights criticized by many conservative Americans.
The vote was 267-157, with dozens of Republicans joining Democrats for passage.
With a strong but unfavorable argument, Democrats fiercely argued in favor of guaranteeing marriage equality in federal law, while Republicans did not openly reject marriage. homosexual. Instead, leading Republicans argued that the bill was unnecessary amid other problems facing the nation.
Roll-out for Tuesday’s election year is part political strategy, forcing all House members, Republicans and Democrats, to stick to their stance. It also reflects the legislative branch’s fight against an aggressive court that has raised concerns that it might review settled US laws.
“For me, this is a personal matter,” said Representative Mondaire Jones, a New York Democrat, who is one of the openly gay members of the House of Representatives.
“Imagine telling the next generation of Americans, my generation, we no longer have the right to get married,” he said. “Congress cannot allow that to happen.”
Republican leaders have not directed their lawmakers to keep the party line against the bill, aides said. Dozens of Republicans joined Democrats in voting through.
‘Other rights are at risk’
The Respect for Marriage Act repeals a Clinton-era law that defines marriage as an heterogeneous relationship between a man and a woman. It would also provide legal protections for interracial marriages by prohibiting any state from denying out-of-state marriage licenses and benefits on the basis of sex, race, or race. , ethnicity or national origin.
The 1996 law, the Protection of Marriage Act, was essentially dropped from Obama-era court rulings, including Obergefell v. Hodges, regulating the marriage rights of same-sex couples nationwide, a school landmark case for gay rights.
Jim Obergefell, the plaintiff in the landmark ruling that legalized same-sex marriage and is now running as a Democrat for the Ohio House of Representatives, said following the court ruling on abortion, “When we lose a right that we have come to rely on and enjoy, other rights are put at risk.”
The Respect for Marriage Act is one of a number of bills, including those providing for access to abortion, that Democrats are proposing to confront the court’s conservative majority. Another bill, guaranteeing access to contraceptive services, will be put to a vote later this week.
Present18:20The battle for basic rights has been established in America
Even if it passes the House with Republican votes, the outcome in the Senate is uncertain.
Senator Josh Hawley, a Republican from Missouri, said: “I’m probably not inclined to support it. “The predicate of this is just false. I don’t think the Supreme Court is going to overturn any of that.”
But in a remarkable silence, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell declined to express his views on the bill, leaving an open question about whether his party would fight it vigorously. how powerful, if it is even put to a vote in the upper house.
“I don’t see anything behind this right now other than, you know, the politics of the election year,” said Republican whip, Senator John Thune of South Dakota.
“The MAGA Radicals who are taking over the Republican Party have made it clear that they are not happy with Roe’s repeal,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said, referring to Trump supporters.
He pointed to comment from Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, who said over the weekend that the Supreme Court’s decision to protect marriage equality was “clearly wrong” and state legislatures should consider this issue.
But Schumer did not commit to holding a vote on the bill.
For Republicans in Congress, Trump-era confirmation of conservative justices to the Supreme Court accomplished the long-term GOP goal of rethinking a variety of social, environmental, and regulatory issues. which the party has not been able to resolve itself by passing bills that can be signed into law.
Last month, writing for the majority in the Roe v. Wade overturn, Justice Samuel Alito argued for a narrower interpretation of the rights guaranteed to Americans, noting that the right to abortion is not enshrined in the Constitution.
In the same vein, Justice Clarence Thomas went further, arguing that other rulings similar to Roe’s, including those around same-sex marriage and couples’ right to use contraception, should be reviewed.
While Alito insisted in the majority opinion that “this decision concerns the constitutional right to abortion and no other rights,” others have noted.
Opinion polls show a majority of Americans support preserving the right to marry whoever they want, regardless of that person’s sex, gender, race or ethnicity, a lasting change in more modern people tend to integrate.
A June Gallup poll showed widespread and growing support for same-sex marriage, with 70% of US adults saying they think such marriages should be legal. recognized as valid. The poll showed a majority supporting both Democrats (83%) and Republicans (55%).
Approval of interracial marriage in the US hit a six-decade high at 94% in September, according to Gallup.