Respect for Marriage Act going to Biden’s desk

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

The Respect for Marriage Act (RMA) is now heading to President Joe Biden after passing the U.S. House.

The Advocate reported that the act passed the House 258-169 in favor of the legislation. Democrats were joined by 39 Republicans to pass the bill.

The House had previously passed the RMA in July. The U.S. Senate passed its own version last week. The House vote was to confirm changes made by the Senate to overcome a filibuster.

Every Democratic Illinois representative voted for the RMA. Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro), Mary Miller (R-Oakland) and Darin LaHood (R-Peoria) all voted against the bill. Outgoing representative Adam Kinzinger (R-Channahon) didn’t vote.

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. It makes same-sex marriage and interracial marriage legal in all 50 states without relying on the courts. The law wouldn’t require states to allow marriages within their borders, but they would have to recognize marriages from other states.

Illinois legalized marriage equality with legislation in 2013 with the first marriages taking place in early 2014.

Incoming representative Eric Sorensen welcomed the the passage.

Sorensen is the first out LGBTQ U.S. Representative elected from Illinois.

“I am proud that today’s vote protects Americans’ right to marry who they love,” said Mike Quigley (D-Chicago), who voted for the bill. “The members of the LGBTQ+ community continue to enrich the fabric of the American soul, and I will not rest until my fellow citizens are completely and fully protected from such bigotry and hate.”

“Today is a very good day in the House. I am so proud that Congress has taken this crucial step toward progress and codified the rights of all people to marry who they love,” said Robin L. Kelly (D-Chicago). “As a committed supporter of LGBTQ+ rights, I will continue to work on behalf of my LGBTQ+ constituents to ensure that every person is treated equally, with the dignity and respect they deserve.”

Kelly’s redrawn district includes part of eastern Central Illinois.

Biden is expected to sign the RMA.