The House voted yesterday to codify same-sex marriage. The vote came about after the Supreme Court decided last month to overturn Roe v Wade last month, sending the issue of abortion back to individual states. Many of those states have since made access to abortion highly restricted.
Justice Clarence Thomas, in his opinion notes on that ruling, said the court should look again at Obergefell v. Hodges. That 2015 SCOTUS ruling legalized same-sex marriage across the US.
To help protect equal marriage, members of Congress introduced the Respect for Marriage Act in both chambers.
It repeals the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996. DOMA defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman.
Despite the SCOTUS ruling of 2015, DOMA has technically remained in place. If Obergefell was reversed, DOMA could be used by states to block same-sex marriage.
According to the House Judiciary Committee, the new legislation ensures same-sex and interracial couples are treated equally to other married individuals at the federal level.
Yesterday’s vote in the House was passed in a 267-157 vote. This included 47 Republicans joining all Democrats in supporting the measure. However, seven Republicans did not vote, and a further 157 voted against it.
Some media reports have highlighted the evolution of Republicans on the issue, celebrating the 47 who voted with Democrats on the issue. This includes the likes of Liz Cheney, who has a gay sister and has spoken before about changing her views on same-sex marriage.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who is gay and married, was more concerned by those who voted against the measure.
In a tweet that has now gone viral, he made his feelings known.
“It’s 2022, and 157 House Republicans just voted against marriage equality. That’s where they come down on this issue. In 2022.”
It’s 2022, and 157 House Republicans just voted against marriage equality.
That’s where they come down on this issue.
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) July 19, 2022
That tweet has had over 160k likes and tens of thousands of retweets.
This tweet contains a list of all those who voted against the legislation.
Here are the 157 Republican no votes on Marriage Equality pic.twitter.com/XDBFc8wdCX
— Acyn (@Acyn) July 19, 2022
It includes the usual suspects, such as Lauren Boebert, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Jim Jordan, Madison Cathorn, and Matt Gaetz. Many of them, talking during the House debate or to the press, stopped short of saying gay people should not be allowed to marry, but argued they believed that, like abortion, it’s correct to send the issue back to individuals states to decide.
GOP Rep. Jim Jordan called the bill “completely unnecessary” and the latest attempt by Democrats to “delegitimize and attempt to intimidate the United States Supreme Court.”
Whether the Respect for Marriage act now passes the Senate remains to be seen. The upper chamber is split 50-50, and at least 10 Republicans will need to vote for it for it to pass.