House Votes to Codify Same-Sex Marriage, 47 Republicans Vote Yes

A person holds a rainbow flag at a drag show during celebrations for Pride month on June 25, 2022, in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Allison Joyce / AFP) (Photo by ALLISON JOYCE/AFP via Getty Images)

July 19, 2022

The House of Representatives, in a 267-157 vote, passed a bill dubbed the Respect for Marriage Act, which would codify the right of same-sex couples to be married in all 50 states, Fox News reported.

The bill, if passed by the Senate and signed by President Biden, would nullify the controversial precedent set in Obergefell v. Hodges (2015), a landmark Supreme Court case that legalized same-sex marriage. The bill would also repeal the Defense of Marriage Act if signed into law, which defined marriage on the federal level as a union between one man and one woman.

Of the 267 House members who voted for the bill are 47 Republicans, including Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and National Republican Campaign Committee Chair Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN). House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) did not vote for the bill, noted Politico.

The vast majority of the Republican House minority voted against it, citing concerns about states’ rights and federalism.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) said that “[T]his legislation would reverse the law in 35 states.” “In 30 of those 35 states, the people of those respective states went to the ballot and voted for that …. it would undo what the people [wanted],” he said further.

The bill now heads to a deadlocked Senate, with 50 Republicans and 50 Democrats. It’s possible that Republicans will invoke a filibuster to kill the bill. Though more moderate Republican senators like Mitt Romney (R-UT) or Susan Collins (R-ME) may be tempted to vote with the Democrats.

It is also possible, though not likely, that the bill could survive a filibuster and tie the Senate, giving Vice-President Kamala Harris a chance to break the tie in favor of the Democrats.

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