Respect For Marriage Act: The 37 Republicans who voted against protecting same-sex marriage

Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz

The Respect For Marriage Act has passed the US Senate – no thanks to these 37 Republicans who voted against it.

The US Senate voted to advance the Respect for Marriage Act, which will codify the right to marriage equality for same-sex and interracial couples, in a 62-37 vote on Wednesday (16 November).

All 50 Democrats voted in favour. Twelve Republican Senators also voted for the bill, including some who have held out on revealing their position since the bill moved to the Senate in July.

The bill was passed with an amendment designed to assuage Republican concerns, which “protects religious liberty” and ensures religious non-profits will be able to withold services, facilities or goods for same-sex marriage celebrations, according to CBS. It also clarifies that polygamous marriages will not be recognised as a result of the bill.

Because of the amendment, the bill now goes back to the House before it can be signed off by the president.

The amendment was enough to win the support of a dozen Republicans, but there were still many holdouts.

The list of Republicans who voted against the Respect for Marriage Act are as follows:

  • John Barrasso, WY
  • Marsha Blackburn, TN
  • John Boozman, AR
  • Mike Braun, IN
  • Bill Cassidy, LA
  • John Cornyn, TX
  • Tom Cotton, AR
  • Kevin Cramer, ND
  • Mike Crapo, ID
  • Ted Cruz, TX
  • Steve Daines, MT
  • Deb Fischer, NE
  • Lindsey Graham, SC
  • Chuck Grassley, IA
  • Bill Hagerty, TN
  • Josh Hawley, MO
  • John Hoeven, ND
  • Cindy Hyde-Smith, MS
  • Jim Inhofe, OK
  • Ron Johnson, WI
  • John Kennedy, LA
  • James Lankford, OK
  • Mike Lee, UT
  • Roger Marshall, KS
  • Mitch McConnell, KY
  • Jerry Moran, KS
  • Rand Paul, KY
  • Jim Risch, ID
  • Mike Rounds, SD
  • Marco Rubio, FL
  • Rick Scott, FL
  • Tim Scott, SC
  • Richard Shelby, AL
  • John Thune, SD
  • Patrick Toomey, PA
  • Tommy Tuberville, AL
  • Roger Wicker, MS

How will the Respect for Marriage Act work?

If signed into law, the Respect for Marriage Act would overrule the currently dormant Defense of Marriage Act that cites marriage as a union between man and woman.

The act was nullified by Supreme Court decisions including Obergefell v Hodges in 2015, which made marriage equality the law of the land.

But after the Supreme Court voted to gut nationwide abortion protections by overturning Roe v Wade, fears arose that the same could happen to same-sex marriage.

“Passing this bill is as personal as it gets for so many of us,” Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer, who voted for the bill, tweeted. “My daughter and her wife – my daughter-in-law – are expecting a baby next spring.

“I want them – and everyone in a loving relationship – to live without fear that their rights could be stripped [away].”

Many of the Republicans who voted for the bill still appear to believe in the view of so-called traditional marriage between a man and a woman.

In a tweet, Mitt Romney said he supports the bill, but primarily due to the “protections for religious liberty” it provides.

“While I believe in traditional marriage, Obergefell is and has been the law of the land upon which LGBTQ+ individuals have relied,” he added.

“This legislation provides certatinty to many LGBTQ+ Americans, and it signals that Congress – and I – esteem and love all of our fellow Americans equally.”

Mitt Romney having participated in a vote for the Respect for Marriage Act

Mitt Romney said he “heartily” supports the Respect for Marriage Act. (Getty)

Delays upon delays

The legislation remained dormant in the Senate for months after delays due to the November midterm elections.

Republican Senators refused to vote on the legislation as many of them claimed it was a Democratic tactic to reveal the stance of candidates on contentious social issues.

Senator Marco Rubio, who voted against the bill, called it a “stupid waste of time” in July.

The Senate agreed to delay the vote in September until after the November elections as a way to ensure bipartisan votes on the bill.

In response, the Human Rights Campaign said on 15 September that the US “shouldn’t be debating federal marriage equality in 2022.

“This legislation would guarantee that same-sex and interracial couples would not see a day when their rights could be stripped away simply because of who they are or whom they love,” the HRC continued. “Now, that guarantee hangs in the balance.”