House votes to codify marriage equality

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The U.S. House of Representatives voted Tuesday to pass the Respect for Marriage Act, setting marriage equality into law.

The bill has now been introduced into the U.S. Senate. With a 50/50 split in the Senate, it is not definite if or when there will be a vote on the bill. President Joe Biden has said he will sign the bill if it reaches his desk.

The Washington Post reported that 47 Republicans crossed party lines to vote with all Democrats to pass the bill.

All of Illinois’ Democratic representatives voted to pass the bill. U.S. Reps. Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro), Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville), Darin LaHood (R-Peoria) and Mary Miller (R-Oakland) all voted no on the bill. Adam Kinzinger (R-Channahon) abstained.

“In their opinion overturning Roe v. Wade, the Trump-packed Supreme Court made it clear that they will soon target the fundamental right to marriage equality,” said U.S. Rep. Bill Foster (D-Naperville). “This is an egregious attack on our basic civil rights, and Congress must stand up to ensure Americans across the country can continue to marry whom they love without discrimination.”

“Today’s bipartisan vote in support of the Respect for Marriage Act reaffirms that the freedom to marry is the settled law of the land and provides comfort and clarity to millions of families across the country,” said Myles Brady Davis, Equality Illinois communications director. “There is broad bipartisan support for the freedom to marry. Americans from all walks of life, across demographics, geographies, and party lines agree that loving, committed couples have the right to be respected and protected under the law.”

Brady Davis said that Equality Illinois called on the Senate to work on a bipartisan basis to update federal laws to protect LGBTQ people.

The bill was introduced in the Senate by U.S. Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine).

The bill was introduced in the House in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe v. Wade made the overturn of other decisions, such as marriage equality, a possibility.

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.

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