House Passes Bill to Protect Same-Sex and Interracial Marriages

The House on Thursday passed a bill to protect same-sex and interracial marriages, sending the legislation to President Joe Biden’s desk, The Washington Post reports.

The House already passed a version of the Respect for Marriage Act in July but the Senate delayed its vote on the bill until after the midterms. The Senate finally approved its own version of the bill, which included an amendment protecting religious liberty, last month with 12 Republicans joining every Democrat.

The House on Thursday passed the Senate version of the bill in a 258-169 vote, with only Republicans voting in opposition. Thirty-nine Republicans voted in favor of the bill.

The bipartisan amendment clarified that the federal government would not recognize polygamous marriages and confirms that nonprofit religious organizations would not be required to provide “any services, facilities, or goods for the solemnization or celebration of a marriage.”

Democrats celebrate:

“Today, Congress sends the Respect for Marriage Act to the president’s desk, a glorious triumph of love and freedom,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said. “This legislation honors that magic, protecting it from bigoted extremism, defending the inviolability of the same-sex and interracial marriages.”

“We can put to rest the worries of millions of loving couples who are concerned that someday an activist Supreme Court may take their rights and freedoms away,” Sen. Tammy Baldwin, the first openly gay person elected to the Senate. “We are giving these loving couples the certainty that their marriages are legal and that they will continue to have the same rights and responsibilities and benefits of every other married couple.”

Republicans decry bill:

Republicans who opposed the bill decried it as an affront to “biblical” marriage.

Virginia Rep. Bob Good claimed without evidence that it would lead to the legalization of “polygamy, bestiality, child marriage, or whatever!”

“The Democrats want Americans to believe that the Supreme Court, at any moment … could step in and overturn its opinions in Obergefell and Loving. It’s just not true. The Supreme Court is not poised to overturn its opinions in either of those decisions,” said Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan.


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