House passes bill to protect same-sex marriage

House passes bill to protect same-sex marriage
Image via Gage Skidmore.
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Most Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives voted against the Democrats’ Respect for Marriage Act, a bill that protects current same-sex marriages and partially codifies same-sex marriage into law, but does not make the right to marry for same-sex couples the law of the land.

The bill passed 267-157, with 47 Republicans joining Democrats to protect marriage. No Democrats voted no. Among the Republicans voting yes were Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger.

The bill was drafted after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last month, which had made the right to abortion the law of the land. Justice Clarence Thomas strongly suggested the Court should rescind the right of same-sex couples to marry, have intimate relations, and the right to contraception.

READ MORE: House to hold vote to protect gay marriage equality

HR 8404, the Respect for Marriage Act, repeals the Defense of Marriage Act, which the U.S. Supreme Court effectively overruled in its 2013 Windsor decision and 2015 decision in Obergefell, which did make same-sex marriage the law of the land. DOMA banned the federal government from recognizing marriages of same-sex couples and allowed states the ability to not recognize them as well.

The Respect for Marriage Act requires states to recognize any marriage lawfully performed in any other state but does not require states to legalize same-sex marriage. It bans states from discriminating against marriages “on the basis of the sex, race, ethnicity, or national origin of those individuals.”

The Biden White House earlier on Tuesday sent a letter strongly supporting the legislation.

While Republicans voted for HB. 8404, it will face a steeper challenge in the Senate, where 60 votes will be required.

READ MORE: Trump-appointed judge blocks Biden from enforcing LGBTQ civil rights protections

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