The House of Representatives passes a bill to codify marriage equality

The House of Representatives on Tuesday voted in favor of a bill that protects the right to same-sex marriage across the country, a reprimand to the Supreme Court over concerns that judges may review certain historic rulings after overturning. Roe against Wade.

On Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., said he wants to take the bill to the full Senate for a vote and that he is looking to see if he has enough Republican support to pass it.

What You Need to Know

  • The House of Representatives voted on Tuesday in favor of a bill that protects the right to same-sex marriage across the country
  • The votes come following the annulment of the Supreme Court Roe against Wade and a concurring opinion from Judge Clarence Thomas that the high court should reconsider the historic rulings that guarantee both rights
  • Last week, the House of Representatives passed two bills aimed at expanding access to abortion nationwide; This week, the chamber is also considering the Right to Contraception Act, which will protect access to contraception nationwide.
  • Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., said he wants to take the bill to the Senate for a vote and that Democrats are working to see if he has enough Republican support to pass.

The final vote was 267-157, with 47 Republicans joining all Democrats present to approve the measure. Schumer said Wednesday he was “impressed” by the bipartisan support the bill has received in the House.

“This legislation is so important, I was very impressed with the much bipartisan support it got in the House,” Schumer said in the Senate on Wednesday, adding that Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin, one of the lawmakers who introduced the measure, “is talking to Republicans to see where the support is “tailored.

“I want to introduce this bill and we are working to get the Republican support needed to ensure it is passed,” Schumer said.

The measure was introduced by a Republican in the Senate, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, and another Republican lawmaker, Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina. told CNN on Wednesday which will “probably” support the bill.

South Dakota Senator John Thune, a member of the Senate Republican leadership, told CNN he will take a “hard look” at the measure, adding that there has been “pretty good bipartisan support” for the bill in the House and hopes that “there will probably be the same” in the Senate.

The vote was a direct disapproval of last month’s Supreme Court ruling Women’s health Dobbs v. Jacksonwhich overturned Roe against Wadewhich guaranteed the right to abortion nationwide.

In an opinion consistent with last month’s ruling, Judge Clarence Thomas wrote that the high court “should consider” other key decisions, including Obergefell against Hodgeswhich guaranteed the right to marry same-sex couples, and Griswold v. Connecticutwhich protects the right to marital privacy from state restrictions on contraception.

“In future cases, we should reconsider all due process precedents of this Court, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell,” Thomas wrote. “Because any substantive due process decision is’ demonstrably wrong ‘… we have a duty to’ correct the ‘error’ set out in those precedents.”

In response, a group of bipartisan lawmakers introduced the Marriage Respect Act, which would codify equality rights in marriage into law and repeal the Marriage Defense Act, a 1996 law that defined marriage between a man and a woman, and it allowed states to reject it. -sexual marriages legally held in other states. The provisions of the law were inert by the Supreme Court in Obergefell and 2013 United States v. Windsor.

Many Democrats have delivered passionate speeches in defense of the codification of the right to marriage on an equal footing, while Republicans have largely avoided the issue of same-sex marriage.

“These radical judges have brought a demolition ball to the court’s precedent and the privacy of the constitution,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California MP, said while urging her fellow lawmakers to pass the bill.

Some House Republicans have said there is no threat that the Supreme Court will review the ruling on same-sex marriage in Obergefell, denouncing Democrats’ efforts as “a political farce.”

“We’re here for a political farce, we’re here to send political messages,” said Rep. Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican. “This bill is simply the latest installment of the Democrats’ campaign to delegitimize and try to intimidate the United States Supreme Court.”

“This is a fundamental equity in our system, which ensures that people can marry the person they want,” said Rhode Island Representative David Cicilline, who, as mayor of Providence, was the first openly gay mayor in a state capital.

“If it’s not necessary, vote for it. If you’re right that we’re worried and we shouldn’t be, reaffirm it,” he continued. “But don’t hide behind it to justify your refusal to vote for marriage equality in this country. Every American has the right to marry the person he loves. “

His fellow New York representative, Mondaire Jones, who is one of the first openly gay black men in Congress, quoted Judge Anthony Kennedy’s opinion in Obergefell: “It would be misunderstood for these men and women to say they do not respect the idea of ​​marriage. Their plea is that they respect him, they respect him so deeply that they seek to find their fulfillment for themselves.Their hope is not to be condemned to live in solitude, excluded from one of the oldest institutions of civilization.They demand equal dignity before the law ”.

“Well, since Obergefell, nearly 300,000, same-sex couples have married,” Jones said. “Imagine telling the next generation of Americans, my generation, that we no longer have the right to marry whoever we want. Congress can’t allow that to happen.”

Other Republicans rejected the vote as a distraction from other issues currently affecting the country, namely inflation and the economy.

“Now my colleagues on the other side of the corridor want to present a clearly political bill because they don’t want to talk about inflation, they don’t want to talk about wide-open borders, they don’t want to talk about inflation. they want to talk about rampant crimes, they don’t want to talk about the state of this declining country, which is heading into a recession, where people are hurting across the country, ”Texas Rep. Chip Roy said.“ They don’t want to talk about it like that. presenting a political bill. “

But a Democratic lawmaker responded to that argument, saying his Republican colleagues “want to talk about anything other than marriage equality today.”

“It’s almost as if they don’t have good arguments to make about marriage equality,” said Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, the first openly gay person elected to the New York Congress.

“My husband Randy and I have been together for 30 years,” she continued. “We raised three remarkable children from diapers to college diplomas. But all that time together, we’ve only been legally married since 2014. We had a 22-year engagement before a marriage of eight.”

“When I was elected a member of Congress in 2012, my husband Randy could not have health insurance through this body,” Maloney added. “The identification of her spouse said ‘Partner’ in her … but through hard work and a historic coalition, through great allies and partnerships, love has won.”

“It’s a beautiful thing when your country catches up with you,” he continued. “And today we will vote on the Marriage Respect Act, to decide and make it clear whether we will return or not.”

The chamber will also vote this week on the Right to Contraception Act, which “would codify the right of Americans to access birth control in federal law.”

The bill was introduced last week by representatives Kathy Manning, DN.C., Nikema Williams, D-Ga., Sara Jacobs, D-Calif. and Annie Craig, D-Minn.

“The reproductive freedom of Americans, including the long-standing right to contraception, is in jeopardy under this extreme of the Supreme Court and Republican state legislatures across the country,” Manning wrote in a statement. “We have already seen state governments try to restrict contraceptive methods and hinder people’s private health care options.”

“Contraception is key to achieving gender equality, improving the health outcomes of women and their families, strengthening educational and economic opportunities for all, and ensuring that people have control over their own bodies and future,” she added.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said last week that Judge Thomas “made it very clear that the extremist ruling that ended Roe v. Wade could be used to overturn other precedents,” specifically when it comes to contraception.

“The House will not sit down and allow extremist Republicans and their judicial appointees to limit Americans’ access to contraception, so I will bring HR 8373, the Right to Contraception Act, to the House floor next week,” he added. .

In a statement on Monday, the Biden administration said it “strongly supports” the measure, adding: “Access to contraception is essential to ensure that all people have control over personal decisions about their own health, lives and families.”

According to a Gallup poll last month, a record 71% of Americans support same-sex marriage, compared to only 27% support when the company first started asking the question in 1996 and since then it has risen greatly steadily. Support for same-sex marriage reached a majority level in 2011 and reached 60% in 2015, the same year the court ruled. Obergefellby Gallup.

The House of Representatives passes a bill to codify marriage equality

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