Congress to vote on codifying marriage equality

The United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. (Image by MotionStudios from Pixabay)

The U.S. Congress is set to vote on the Respect for Marriage Act, which would codify marriage equality in the U.S.

The bill is being debate after the the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe v. Wade made the overturn of other decisions such as marriage equality.

CNBC reported that the bill would establish that a marriage is considered valid under federal law if it was legal in the state where it was performed. The bill would explicitly bar anyone from denying “full faith and credit” to an out-of-state marriage based on sex, race, ethnicity or national origin, regardless of any individual state’s law. It would grant the U.S. attorney general the authority to enforce that rule through civil action.

It would also repeal the Defense of Marriage Act passed in 1996.

The news channel reported that the bill is expected to pass in the U.S. House where Democrats have a clear majority. It is less likely to make it through the Senate where Republicans can filibuster to block a vote.

In his concurrent opinion on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Center, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas said that Obergfell v. Hodges, which legalized marriage equality, should be overturned. No other justice joined him on that opinion.

On Sunday, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) called Obergfell and “overreach” and that it should be left up to the states much like abortion now is. He made the statement on his podcast.