House Passes Bill to Defend Same-Sex Marriage

The bill was made as a preemptive defense against a Supreme Court ruling.

The bill was made as a preemptive defense against a Supreme Court ruling.

Yesterday, the United States House of Representatives voted to pass a bill that would make protections for same-sex marriage a federally-ensured right. The bill passed with a bipartisan vote of 267 to 157, and is now on its way to the next round of voting at the Senate.

The bill, titled the Respect for Marriage Act, was introduced by Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York. In addition to the protections it would offer to same-sex marriages, the bill also protects interracial marriages. Some policymakers have expressed concern about the safety of these protections in the wake of the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, and have therefore begun work to set up proactive federal laws.

“It is critical to ensure that federal law protects those whose constitutional rights might be threatened by Republican-controlled state legislatures,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said in a statement. “LGBTQ Americans and those in interracial marriages deserve to have certainty that they will continue to have their right to equal marriage recognized, no matter where they live.”

In a separate statement, the Supreme Court’s liberal Justices cautioned that the Court’s conservative majority have plans to target other rights similar to Roe v. Wade. “The right Roe and Casey recognized does not stand alone,” they wrote. “To the contrary, the Court has linked it for decades to other settled freedoms involving bodily integrity, familial relationships, and procreation. Most obviously, the right to terminate a pregnancy arose straight out of the right to purchase and use contraception. In turn, those rights led, more recently, to rights of same-sex intimacy and marriage.”

“Either the mass of the majority’s opinion is hypocrisy, or additional constitutional rights are under threat. It is one or the other.”

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