On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Respect for Marriage Act (RMA), which will now go to President Joe Biden’s desk, who has already pledged to sign it.
The bill, which enshrines the right of same-sex and interracial marriage into federal law, passed the House with a vote of 258-169, with 39 Republicans voting in favor. However, U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) later said his proxy, U.S. Rep Tom Rice (R-S.C.), failed to vote in favor.
The RMA has been a significant push for Democratic legislators since July.
The push to federally enshrine specific rights into federal law has been a priority for Democrats since the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) overturned Roe v. Wade in its landmark decision of Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization in June.
In his concurring opinion in Dobbs, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that the Court could also reconsider previous court rulings that federally protected certain rights that should be left to the states per the United States Constitution. Thomas explicitly named the 2015 SCOTUS decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which made same-sex marriage a constitutionally protected activity.
All of Alabama's Republican members of Congress voted against the bill, and U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Birmingham) voted in favor.
U.S. Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) immediately decried the bill, saying it was “incredibly discouraging” that so many Republican members of congress voted in favor.
“Radical Washington Democrats have spent years fearmongering and delegitimizing the Supreme Court, even threatening conservative constitutional Justices, to exploit issues like gay marriage and advance unrelated and dangerous policies,” Moore said in a statement. "This bill is a gift to radical progressive activists and a politicized DOJ who are hostile to Americans who hold faith in anything other than a benevolent Big Government. For the countless Americans and businesses who will now be subject to government-sanctioned harassment and expensive lawsuits, process will be the punishment, and many will be forced to choose between constitutional expressions of faith or bankruptcy and public shaming.”
U.S. Senators Richard Shelby (R-Tuscaloosa) and Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) voted against the bill in the Senate.
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