Everything You Need to Know About the Respect for Marriage Act
(RepublicanDaily.org) – Since 2015, same-sex couples in the United States have enjoyed the right to marry by virtue of the US Supreme Court decision in the Obergefell v. Hodges case. However, that right could be overturned by another SCOTUS verdict, and lawmakers are worried about this possibility since the landmark decision around abortion in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization earlier this year. Democrats introduced the Respect for Marriage Act in an attempt to put equal marriage rights on a legislative footing, and the bill has some Republican support.
So, what exactly is in it?
The Contents of the Respect for Marriage Act
The bill is, by and large, an attempt to codify the provisions of the Obergefell case in a piece of Congressional legislation. However, should the bill pass into law, the rules will change to a certain degree.
If SCOTUS does end up overturning Obergefell, the legislation would not stop a state from banning gay marriage within its own borders. However, it would require every state to recognize marriage licenses that were validly issued in other states.
The bill would also legislate to protect the right of interracial couples to marry.
A version of the bill managed to overcome the Senate filibuster with the support of 12 GOP lawmakers shortly before Thanksgiving. It must still get through the House of Representatives before making its way to President Joe Biden’s desk. Advocates hope this might happen before the end of the year.
What Are Politicians Saying About the Act?
Support for the bill is very strong among Democratic lawmakers; all 50 liberal senators voted to advance it. Republicans are less certain about the bill, though some are in favor of it.
Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) was one of the bill’s conservative proponents in the upper chamber; she released a statement following the vote in an attempt to reassure West Virginian voters that their religious requirements in relation to marriage would be respected under the legislation. She highlighted, for example, that religious nonprofits would not be compelled to “provide any support for same-sex marriage.”
Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) also supported the bill in the Senate. In a statement, he said he was personally a supporter of marriage in its traditional form, but said he backed the legislation because of its provisions supporting religious liberty. He also said the bill served to “[provide] certainty to many LGBTQ Americans” and show the community that Congress had “esteem and love” for it.
What do you think of the Respect for Marriage Act? Is it the right step, or should certain aspects of it change?
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