House vote to protect marriage equality showed opponents this isn’t a battle they want


There is no way around it. We live in an emergency for people, women, and people of color from the LGBTQ+ community. But our opponents will go uphill if they want to retract all our rights.

This was evident in how the Respect for Marriage Act passed through House 267-157 on Tuesday. In a rare display of bipartisanship, 47 House of Representatives From all over this country—North Dakota, Utah, Nebraska, Florida, Texas, Iowa, and South Carolina—including third-ranked House Republicans, Elise Stefanik They voted to protect equality in marriage.

With the devastating decision to overturn Roe v. Wade putting access to safe and legal abortions at risk for millions, many people fear that other civil rights protected by the court could also be at stake — including marriage equality. Tuesday’s vote gave those worried about what happened in Dobbs v. Jackson The decision to marry them may mean a brief moment to breathe as it once again demonstrated that marriage equality enjoys broad bipartisan support.

Tuesday’s vote gave those worried about what Dobbs’ decision against Jackson could mean for their marriages a brief moment to breathe as it once again demonstrated that marriage equality enjoys broad bipartisan support.

The Respect for Marriage Act would ensure federal protection for marriage equality nationwide through several provisions. Among other things, it does so by erasing a black mark in Our Nation’s Code: Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 (DOMA), which defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman and deprived married same-sex couples of more than 1,100 federal benefits. and protection.

In 2013, the Supreme Court A ruling that a part of the DOMA was unconstitutionalThe remainder of the law remains in place but is not enforceable. The Respect for Marriage Act will also enhance other federal marriage benefits by ensuring that spouses who travel to another state to marry will still retain federal marriage benefits, even if their state ceases to recognize marriage equality. It also ensures that states must recognize public records – things like adoption orders – to other states and record Supreme Court decisions in Obergefell v. Hodges and United States v. WindsorAnd the Both made DOMA infeasible.

As we await the Senate vote, people’s fears that their marriages are being put at risk are understandable. Judge Clarence Thomas’s approval of Dobbs left the communities with no choice but to worry. He expressly stated that the court should “reconsideringOther precedents, including historical civil rights cases such as Griswold v. ConnecticutAnd the Who protects access to contraceptives, Lawrence v. TexasAnd the who protects same-sex intimacy, and Obergefell v. HodgesAnd the which protects the right of same-sex couples to marry. This is a terrifying logical leap. But it is also important to note that no other justice agreed with him Judge Samuel Alito went out of his way to note that dobbs The decision should not cast doubt on non-abortion antecedents.

To be clear, there is no immediate impact on any of our other civil rights, including marriage, because of Dobbs resolution. But, of course, it is not so simple. Cases mentioned by Thomas, in the name of The defector said, “They are all part of the same constitutional fabric.” The court’s decision in Dobbs encourages anti-equality forces in the states to continue to pursue their hard-earned civil liberties, as they have been persecuting LGBT people, particularly transgender and non-binary youth, in state homes across the country.

This is why a move like the one we saw on Tuesday was crucial. While the bipartisan partnership in Congress may shock you, Republican support for marriage equality shouldn’t be. The 47 votes they cast in favor of the Respect for Marriage Act in the House show that even Republican lawmakers know marriage equality — which 7 in 10 Americans support, according to a recent report. public opinion poll It is (and should remain) the law of the land.

In fact, support for marriage equality comes from people from all walks of life, all religions, all political ideologies – and it has increased rapidly. According to data from the Public Institute for Religion Research, support for equality in marriage has increased by 14 percentage points Between 2014 and 2022. Institute data also showed that nearly half of Republicans now support the right of same-sex couples to legally marry, while 81% of Democrats and 73% of independents favor marriage equality. Today, the majority of religious groups favor marriage equality, including 86% of Hindus, 83% of American Jews, 81% of Buddhists, 80% of colored Catholics, 76% of white Protestants, and 74% of Catholics Whites, 72% of Catholics are of Hispanic origin. And only three states have less-than-majority support for marriage equality. 47 Republicans who joined the 220 House Democrats recognized this.

Ending marriage equality would have disastrous consequences, much as the devastating consequences of Dobbs’ decision. But our opponents obviously have a tough fight ahead of them if they come after our marriage because we are on high alert. The LGBTQ+ community is living in an emergency situation and we are ready for this fight. Widespread support for marriage equality is escalating too quickly to be ignored, and the American people, including many members of the Republican Party, are with us.

Currently, the law on respect for marriage is in the hands of the Senate. I strongly urge Senators to follow the example set by their colleagues in the House and vote to pass this bill to protect the rights afforded in Obergefell On which many same-sex couples depend.

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