The House vote to protect marriage equality showed opponents this is not a fight they want

There’s no way around it; We live in a state of emergency for LGBTQ+ people, women and people of colour. But our adversaries will have a steep climb if they want to undo all of our rights.

That became clear when the Respect for Marriage Act sailed through the House of Representatives 267-157 on Tuesday. In a rare display of bipartisanship, 47 House Republicans from across the country — North Dakota, Utah, Nebraska, Florida, Texas, Iowa and South Carolina — including third-ranking House Republican Elise Stefanik — voted to protect marriage equality .

With the devastating decision to Roe v. To overthrow Wade, which threatens access to safe, legal abortions for millions, many people fear other court-protected civil rights could also be at stake — including marriage equality. Tuesday’s vote gave those concerned about what Dobbs was versus Jackson Her decision could bring a brief sigh of relief to her marriages, as she proved once again that marriage equality enjoys broad, bipartisan support.

Tuesday’s vote gave those concerned about what the Dobbs v. Jackson decision might mean for their marriages a brief moment of relief, as it proved once again that marriage equality enjoys broad, bipartisan support.

The Respect for Marriage Act would ensure that federal protections for marriage equality are protected by several provisions at the national level. It is doing so, in part, by erasing a black spot in our nation’s statute book: the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 (DOMA), which defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman and denied married same-sex couples more than 1,100 federal benefits and protections .

2013 the Supreme Court ruled that part of DOMA was unconstitutional, but the rest of the law is still in effect but unenforceable. The Respect for Marriage Act would also bolster other state marriage benefits by confirming that couples who travel to another state to get married continue to retain state marriage benefits even if their own state no longer recognizes marriage equality. It also ensures that states must recognize the public records — things like adoption orders — of other states, and codifies Supreme Court decisions in Obergefell v. Hodges and United States v. Windsor, both rendered DOMA unenforceable.

As we await a Senate vote, people’s fears that their marriages may be in jeopardy are understandable. Judge Clarence Thomas’ approval in Dobbs has left communities little choice but to worry. He specifically stated that the court should “reconsider” other precedents, including landmark civil rights cases like Griswold v. Connecticut, protecting access to birth control, Lawrence v. Texas, protecting same-sex intimacy, and Obergefell v. Hodges, which protects the right of same-sex couples to marry. That’s a frightening leap of logic. But it’s also important to note that no other judge agreed with him, and that Judge Samuel Alito went out of his way to determine that the Dobbs Decision should not “challenge precedents that have nothing to do with abortion”.

To be clear, there is no immediate impact on our other civil rights, including marriage, because of the Dobbs Decision. But of course it’s not that simple. The cases that Thomas mentioned, like that said dissent, “are all part of the same constitutional structure”. And the Dobbs court decision emboldens anti-equality forces across the states to continue chasing our hard-won civil liberties, just as they do in state buildings across the country with LGBTQ+ people, particularly transgender and non-binary people youngsters to do.

So a move like the one we saw on Tuesday was crucial. While the bipartisanship in Congress may shock you, Republican support for marriage equality shouldn’t. The 47 votes they cast in favor of the House’s Respect for Marriage Act show that even Republican lawmakers know about marriage equality — supported by 7 in 10 Americans, according to a recent study Gallup poll – is (and must) be the law of the country.

In fact, support for marriage equality comes from people of all walks of life, of all faiths, and of all political ideologies—and has been growing rapidly. According to the Public Religion Research Institute, support for marriage equality surged 14 percentage points between 2014 and 2022. The institute’s data also showed that nearly half of Republicans now support the right for same-sex couples to legally marry, while 81% of Democrats and 73% of Independents support marriage equality. And today, majorities in most religious groups support marriage equality, including 86% Hindus, 83% Jewish Americans, 81% Buddhists, 80% Catholics of Color, 76% White Protestants, 74% White Catholics, and 72% of Hispanic Catholics. And only three states have less than the majority for marriage equality. The 47 Republicans, who have joined 220 Democrats in the House of Representatives, recognize this.

The end of marriage equality would have catastrophic consequences, much like the devastating consequences of the Dobbs decision. But it is clear that our adversaries have an uphill battle ahead if they come after our marriages because we are on high alert. The LGBTQ+ community lives in a state of emergency and we are ready for this fight. Widespread support for marriage equality is growing too fast to ignore, and the American people, including many members of the Republican Party, are on our side.

The Respect for Marriage Act is currently in the hands of the Senate. I urge senators to follow the example of their peers in the House of Representatives and vote to pass this bill to protect the rights conferred in Obergefell that so many same-sex couples rely on. The House vote to protect marriage equality showed opponents this is not a fight they want

Fry Electronics Team

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