The U.S. House overwhelmingly approved legislation Tuesday with a bipartisan vote to protect same-sex and interracial marriages amid concerns that the Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade abortion access could jeopardize other rights criticized by many conservative Americans.
Democrats argued intensely in favor of enshrining marriage equality in federal law while some Republicans steered clear of openly rejecting gay marriage. Instead, leading Republicans portrayed the bill as “unnecessary” amid other issues facing the nation. However, LGBTQ activists had been voicing their concerns ever since the GOP began hinting they might apply the SCOTUS decision to remove the Constitutional right to privacy that Roe had guaranteed to gay marriage as well.
Tuesday’s election-year roll call (267-157) forced all House members to go on the record with their views. “For me, this is personal,” said Rep. Mondaire Jones, D-N.Y., who said he was among the openly gay members of the House. “Imagine telling the next generation of Americans, my generation, we no longer have the right to marry,” he said. “Congress can’t allow that to happen.”
I’m proud to introduce this bill with my colleagues. The Respect for Marriage Act. https://t.co/9xBMeOaJGE
— Mondaire Jones (@MondaireJones) July 18, 2022
The bill, which also protects interracial marriages as well, now goes to the Senate, where it will face opposition from some staunch opponents, such as Ted Cruz and Mike Braun.
Ted Cruz is openly signaling that Republicans plan on going after Gay marriage next.
— Amane Badhasso (@Amane4Congress) July 16, 2022
CHILLING: Asked point-blank whether he would be "okay with the Supreme Court leaving the question of interracial marriage to the states," Senator Mike Braun replied in the affirmative.
— John Iadarola (@johniadarola) July 18, 2022
The Biden administration issued a statement of support for the bill, known as the Respect for Marriage Act.
NEW: White House Office of Management and Budget releases a statement in support of the Respect for Marriage Act, which would codify same-sex marriage into federal law.
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) July 19, 2022
Polling shows a majority of Americans favor preserving the right to marry whom one wishes, regardless of the person’s sex, gender, race, or ethnicity, a long-building shift in modern mores toward inclusion.