Republican congresswoman actually cries as she begs lawmakers to vote against same-sex marriage

Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo., arrives for a House Republican Conference meeting

It was a hard day for Republican lawmaker Vicky Hartzler on Thursday (8 December) as the Respect for Marriage Act passed the US House of Representatives vote with an overwhelming majority.

The Missouri congresswoman appeared to cry as she made a desperate plea for her colleagues to vote against same-sex marriage on the House floor.

“This is yet another step toward the Democrats’ goal of dismantling the traditional family, silencing voices of faith and permanently undoing our country’s God-woven foundation,” Hartzler said.

She didn’t explain how allowing gay people to marry would dismantle “the traditional family”.

“I hope and pray that my colleagues will find the courage to join me in opposing this misguided and dangerous bill.”

The Respect for Marriage Act passed the House with a vote of 258-169 – and 39 Republicans, clearly not including Vicky Hartzler, voted with Democrats to back it.

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Twitter users weighed in on the congresswoman’s performance with one even suggesting her speech would make a great drag performance.

The Respect for Marriage Act now heads to Biden’s desk, where, once law, it will require states to recognise same-sex marriages from other states. It also repeals the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as only between a man and a woman.

With the Act, these protections also extend to interracial marriages.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi commented on the House’s vote: “Today, we stand up to the values the vast majority of Americans hold dear – a belief in the dignity, beauty and divinity in every person in abiding respect for love so powerful that it binds two people together.”

Other politicians spoke in support of the Act and for the nation’s LGBTQ+ community.

Hartzler’s speech on the House floor was something of a swan song, given that she will not be returning to Congress in 2023 after losing her campaign for a Senate seat.

Meanwhile, LGBTQ+ campaigners hope positive legislation for queer communities continues.

“Congress must use this momentum to keep expanding LGBTQ protections and freedoms including in pending legislation like the Equality Act, and especially for transgender people who face elevated levels of discrimination and attacks,” Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD, said.

“It’s long past time for politicians to catch up to the supermajority of Americans of every party who support shared values of equal treatment, and our right to be free from discrimination and to have the same chances to belong, contribute and succeed in our communities and in our country.”