House Passes Bill Legally Codifying Same-Sex Marriage and Redefining Definition of Institution

Photo by Maico Pereira on Unsplash

Amid fears that federal protection for same-sex marriage could be overturned by the Supreme Court following their landmark decision overturning Roe v Wade, the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives passed a bill last week which codifies same-sex marriage into law.

The Respect for Marriage Act was backed by every Democrat in the House as well as 47 Republicans, passing with a total vote of 267-157.

It now passes on to the Senate, although it is expected to fail in the upper chamber due to a lack of support from Republican lawmakers.

The legislation aims to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and codify the Supreme Court ruling which made same-sex marriage legal nationally, Obergefell v. Hodges, into law.

It was crafted amid concerns following the Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling, which overturned Roe, that Obergefell would be next.

This was stoked in part by a suggestion from Justice Clarence Thomas, who wrote in his concurring opinion that because decisions like Obergefell was based on what he characterized as “legal fiction.”

While he conceded that “[n]othing in [the court’s] opinion should be understood to cast doubt on precedents that do not concern abortion,” that the high court might now “reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents.”

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