House to hold vote to protect gay marriage equality

House to hold vote to protect gay marriage equality
Image via Creative Commons.

The House of Representatives this week will vote on legislation that would partially codify same-sex couples’ right to marriage into federal law. It would not make same-sex marriage the law of the land, but would protect existing couples’ marriages. The move comes after the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled in 2015 that equal marriage is a civil right, hinted when it struck down Roe v. Wade last month it might vote to overturn that and other rulings as well.

The bill would repeal the already-overturned Defense of Marriage Act that banned the federal government from recognizing marriages of same-sex couples, and would require states to recognize all marriages that are legal in other jurisdictions, Forbes reports.

“That means states can’t declare same-sex marriages or interracial marriages invalid even if they’re outlawed in that state, as long as the marriage took place legally in the state where it was performed.”

READ MORE: Ted Cruz says Obergefell was 'wrong when it was decided'

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) over the weekend declared the Obergefell ruling, which found equal marriage rights in the Constitution, “overreaching,” and “clearly wrong.”

Obergefell, like Roe v. Wade, ignored two centuries of our nation’s history. Marriage was always an issue that was left to the states,” he claimed, falsely. “We saw states before Obergefell, some states were moving to allow gay marriage, other states were moving to allow civil partnerships. There were different standards that the states were adopting.”

“The way the Constitution set up for you to advance that position is convince your fellow citizens, that if you succeeded in convincing your fellow citizens, then your state would change the laws to reflect those views,” Cruz added. “In Obergefell, the court said, ‘No, we know better than you guys do, and now every state must, must sanction and permit gay marriage.'”

In June Gallup reported record-high support for same-sex marriage, now at 71% approval. Civil rights experts warn rights should not be subject to majority vote.

READ MORE: Virginia lawmaker slams Glenn Youngkin for wildly misleading comments on same-sex marriage

Cruz ignores the fact that marriage has always been a civil right, and the Court in 1967 in Loving v. Virginia, ruled that banning the right to marriage from interracial couples violated both the Equal Protection clause and the Due Process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment — as does banning marriage from same-sex couples.

In his concurring majority opinion, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas called for same-sex marriage, same-sex intimate relations, and contraception.

Justice Thomas wrote, “in future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents.”

“Because any substantive due process decision is ‘demonstrably erroneous,’ we have a duty to ‘correct the error’ established in those precedents,” Thomas claimed.

READ MORE: Senate Republicans refuse to commit to codifying interracial and same-sex marriage rights into law

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