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House passes bill to codify same-sex marriage, sends legislation to President Biden

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Posted at 9:54 AM, Dec 08, 2022

Nancy Pelosi said as one of her final acts as House speaker, she will enroll a bill meant to preserve same-sex marriage rights nationwide.

In an op-ed to the Washington Post, she said same-sex marriage rights are being threatened by the Supreme Court.

“In June, the Republican supermajority on the Supreme Court eviscerated long-standing precedent and the right to privacy with its disgraceful decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Justice Clarence Thomas took explicit aim at marriage equality: urging the court to reconsider Obergefell and upend the lives of countless families across the country,” Pelosi wrote. “While his legal reasoning is twisted and unsound, we must take Justice Thomas — and the extremist movement behind him — at their word.”

The bill passed by a 258-169 margin on Thursday with 39 Republicans joining all 219 Democrats in supporting the motion. One-hundred and sixty-nine House Republicans voted against it.

The legislation also includes provisions protecting interracial marriage.

The bill will soon head to President Joe Biden, who is expected to sign the bill into law.

Although the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that states must allow same-sex couples the opportunity to wed, there have been concerns that the Supreme Court might revisit that ruling. The bill would essentially nullify any effort to overturn the bill.

The concerns came following the Supreme Court’s landmark decision to overturn Roe v. Wade earlier this year.

Writing the majority opinion in the abortion case Dobbs v. Jackson, Justice Clarence Thomas suggested the Supreme Court should revisit past cases.

“In future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell. Because any substantive due process decision is ‘demonstrably erroneous,’ we have a duty to ‘correct the error’ established in those precedents,” Thomas wrote.

The Our Respect for Marriage Act passed the Senate with 61 votes. The bill garnered support from 12 Senate Republicans, including former presidential nominee Mitt Romney who previously expressed opposition to same-sex marriage.

All 36 no votes in the Senate were among Republicans.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, suggested the Supreme Court was wrong in Obergefell v. Hodges, saying the decision to permit gay marriage should be left to states.

“In Obergefell, the court said, 'No, we know better than you guys do, and now every state must, must sanction and permit gay marriage.' I think that decision was clearly wrong when it was decided. It was the court overreaching,” he said on his podcast.