The House of Representatives has passed a federal law enshrining same-sex marriage. Now it goes to the Senate.
When Roe v. Wade was overturned in the U.S. Supreme Court, concerns were raised that Obergefell vs Hodges, the case that made same-sex marriage a right, was next. These concerns weren’t out of nowhere – many GOP voices, including one on the Supreme Court, have openly said it is their plan.
“We take Justice Thomas – and the extremist movement behind him – at their word,” said Speaker Nancy Pelosi during the House of Representatives debate over the Respect for Marriage Act. “This is what they intend to do.”
The Respect for Marriage Act passed the House in a 267-157 landslide, with an unexpected 47 Republicans voting alongside the Democrats, making it a surprising bipartisan victory.
If Respect for Marriage passes the Senate, it will repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which passed in 1996 and federally defined marriage as a heterosexual union between a man and a woman. That act was made obsolete by Obergefell vs Hodges in 2015, but would come back into effect if the Supreme Court reverses that case, as it did Roe vs Wade.
To pass in the Senate, currently split 50-50 between Democrats and the GOP, every Democrat and at least ten Republican senators will need to vote together to defeat a probable GOP filibuster.
According to Gallup polls, 70 percent of U.S. adults say they think same-sex marriages should be recognized by law. For the first time, the majority of respondents who identify with both sides of the political aisle are in favor. Several Republicans, both incumbent and hopeful, have indicated they want to court that pro-equality vote.
Against it stands Republican Senators like Ted Cruz, who recently called Obergefell vs Hodges “clearly wrong,” and Josh Hawley, who has signaled intent to run for President.
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