The US House of Representatives voted to protect same-sex marriage

Politics 20 July, 2022

The US House of Representatives voted on Tuesday, July 19, for the law on the protection of same-sex marriage throughout the United States, fearing the cancellation of the Supreme Court’s decision on this issue. The bill received the support of 267 elected officials, that is, all Democrats supported by 47 Republicans, during the vote, which was greeted with applause in a half-cycle. On the other hand, 157 Republicans opposed it.

His chances of success in the Senate seem more limited, since the ten elected Republicans will have to vote with the Democrats. Only Senator Susan Collins has said at the moment that she is ready to do this. Thus, its inclusion on the agenda seems to be aimed at forcing Republicans to take a position on this issue that divides their electorate.

The overwhelming majority of Americans support same-sex marriage (71%), including in the ranks of Republicans. But the religious right remains mostly against him. Whatever their position on the Respect for Marriage Act, Republicans risk running into disagreements with some of their constituents before the November midterm vote.

Specifically, the law repeals previous legislation that defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman, and prohibits civil registry offices, regardless of the state in which they work, from discriminating against married couples «on the basis of their gender, race, ethnicity or origin». Thus, it applies to persons of the same sex, whose unions have been guaranteed by the US Supreme Court since 2015, as well as to interracial couples, whom the High Court has protected since 1967.

But the High Court has just taken a historic turn on the issue of abortion rights, overturning the June 24 decision in Roe v. Wade, which since 1973 has guaranteed the right of American women to have an abortion from a position of «respect for privacy».

In the arguments accompanying this decision, conservative Judge Clarence Thomas considered that the right to same-sex marriage and the right to contraceptives, also based on respect for privacy, should, in turn, be reviewed.

Since then, progressive elected members of Congress have multiplied bills. «We cannot sit idly by while the hard won achievements of the equality movement are systematically destroyed», – said Democrat-elect Jerry Nadler. Thus, two documents on the protection of access to abortion were adopted in the Chamber last week, and another document on the right to contraception should be voted on this week. It is likely that they will all stumble in the Senate.