Republican celebrates gay son’s wedding after voting against vital same-sex marriage bill
No irony was felt by a Republican who attended his gay son’s wedding days after voting against a bill that would codify same-sex marriage.
Pennsylvania Republican Glenn Thompson was “thrilled to attend and celebrate” his son’s wedding on Friday (22 July), his spokesperson said, despite having voted against a bill that would protect marriage equality just three days earlier.
Thompson was among the 157 Republicans to voted against the Respect for Marriage Act, which aims to repeal dormant Clinton-era legislation that denounces same-sex marriage.
The bill has been introduced amid fears the Supreme Court could seek to overturn the ruling that guarantees equal marriage.
However Stone was among the many Republicans to denounce the bill as an electoral ploy by Democrats.
Following the vote, his spokesperson Maddison Stone said: “This bill was nothing more than an election-year messaging stunt for Democrats in Congress who have failed to address historic inflation and out of control prices at gas pumps and grocery stores.”
The bill aims to remove declarations made in the Defense of Marriage Act from 1996 that define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
While not currently active in American law, that definition could come back into play should the Supreme Court choose to reconsider and potentially overturn the 2015 Obergefell v Hodges ruling that introduced a nationwide federal right to same-sex marriage.
Fears that such rulingz could be reconsidered by the Supreme Court were raised after the overturning of Roe v Wade.
As the court nullified the ruling that gave a federal right to abortion, Republican-appointed associate justice Clarence Thomas wrote a concurring opinion arguing justices ought to reconsider “all of this court’s substantive due process precedent,” including Obergefell and a ruling that legalised contraceptives.
In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision, Democratic lawmakers introduced several draft bills that aimed to mitigate potential rollbacks of rights by the court, including a Transgender Bill of Rights.
The Respect for Marriage Act passed a vote in the House of Representatives on 19 July, with 267 yeas and 157 nays. All 220 Democrats voted for the legislature, while 47 Republicans also joined them.
All 157 representatives who voted against the bill were Republicans, leaving seven that abstained.
Several representatives who voted against the bill have have argued the bill is nothing more than a plot by Democrats to force lawmakers to state their views on divisive societal issues ahead of the mid-term elections. Judiciary committee Republican Jim Jordan of Ohio called it a “political charade”.
To pass through the Senate, the bill needs the backing of at least 10 Republicans. GOP senators Susan Collins, Rob Portman, Lisa Murkowski and Thom Tillis have already voiced their support.
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