The House on Tuesday night voted 267 to 157 to pass a bill that would recognize same-sex marriage in federal law.
Forty-seven Republicans joined all Democrats in sending the Defense of Marriage Act to the Senate where it faces a tougher challenge of getting through.
The vote came amid concerns that the Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade abortion access could jeopardize other rights.
Democrats argued intensely in favor of enshrining marriage equality in federal law, while Republicans steered clear of openly rejecting gay marriage.
Instead leading Republicans said the bill was a sham and unnecessary amid other issues facing the nation and the Biden administration.
Rep. Lisa McClain of Michigan, a member of the Republican Study Committee, told DailyMail.com that Democrats were attempting to divert attention from current domestic crises in the economy and at the border.
‘At a time when inflation is at 9.1% and the southern border is in a full-blown crisis, Democrats in Congress are wasting time on a bill about marriage. Is that really the most pressing issue facing our country? How about we focus on things that matter, like lowering gas costs rather than voting on pointless bills that only score political points,’ McClain said.
Liz Cheney, GOP conference chair Elise Stefanik and NRCC chair Tom Emmer were among members of their party to cross the aisle.
Scott Perry of the Freedom Caucus and Nancy Mace, who is facing a tough midterm, also sided with Democrats.
The House on Tuesday night passed a bill that would recognize same-sex marriage in federal law. Forty-seven Republicans joined all Democrats in sending the Defense of Marriage Act to the Senate where it faces a tougher challenge of getting through
Liz Cheney (left), GOP conference chair Elise Stefanik (right) and NRCC chair Tom Emmer were among members of their party to cross the aisle
But top Republican leaders did not whip lawmakers to hold the party line against the bill.
Multiple GOP lawmakers panned the legislation as unnecessary.
‘A bill to bolster congressionally-recognized gay marriage is a solution in search of a problem, and all members of Congress know — or should know — this,’ Rep. Chip Roy of Texas said in a statement.
Rep. Kevin Hearn of Oklahoma said: ‘The only purpose of this legislation is to instill fear and spread misinformation about the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson.’
Congressman Steven Palazzo of Mississippi accused Democrats of ‘pushing through redundant legislation for non-issues.’
Debate on the House floor grew heated as the Democrat-majority chamber prepares to advance its Respect For Marriage Act, aimed at codifying same-sex marriage.
Democrat Rep. Jerry Nadler suggested that Justice Clarence Thomas did not suggest revisiting the Supreme Court ruling that legalized interracial marriage because he himself is married to a white woman.
While Justice Samuel Alito made clear in the main opinion that he was solely focused on abortion, Thomas set off alarm bells within the progressive community by suggesting the court could next revisit the landmark cases that legalized same-sex marriage, same-sex intimacy and the right for married couples to have contraception.
Nadler noted on Tuesday that Thomas ‘didn’t mention Loving though, for some reason – which is interracial marriage,’ in reference to the 1967 ruling in Loving v. Virginia.
‘Maybe the fact that he’s intermarried, and so is Senator McConnell,’ Nadler said. ‘Maybe that has something to do with it.’
It’s not clear what prompted him to bring McConnell into the conversation.
The Kentucky Republican is married to Elaine Chao, a Chinese-American immigrant who served as Donald Trump’s Secretary of Transportation.
Democrat leaders were forced on the back foot by their furious base for failing to codify abortion rights in the 50 years that Roe stood at precedent.
But the seismic late June ruling prompted them to act swiftly to preserve the protections that Thomas dangled over the chopping block, starting with same-sex marriage.
Debate on the House floor grew heated as the Democrat-majority chamber prepares to advance its Respect For Marriage Act, aimed at codifying same-sex marriage. Democrat Rep. Jerry Nadler suggested that Justice Clarence Thomas did not suggest revisiting the Supreme Court ruling that legalized interracial marriage because he himself is married to a white woman.
The Respect For Marriage Act would repeal the controversial Defense of Marriage Act, signed into law by Bill Clinton in 1996, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman. The law was gutted by the Supreme Court but remains on the books – meaning it could be enforceable again if the 2015 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges is overturned.
It also recognizes any legally performed marriage under federal law and explicitly prohibits ‘denying full faith and credit to an out of state marriage’ in a bid to preemptively block state legislatures from rolling back protections on same-sex and interracial unions.
Republican Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana accused Democrats of ‘fear mongering’ with the bill.
‘This is a a partisan bill, to make partisan arguments, to run ads in an election cycle,’ Johnson said.
He pointed to Alito’s main opinion in the Dobbs case, which specifies that the conservative majority’s decision relates to abortion only. Thomas reaffirms this in his concurring opinion, as well – before using that to suggest looking at other cases in order to re-examine those precedents separately.
But Johnson insisted that the right to same-sex marriage was not under attack and that Democrats were ‘manufacturing’ the issue
‘This crisis, this demeaning, divisive debate – trying to reopen a Pandora’s box that no one has opened except the Democrats. This is crystal clear,’ he opined.
Nadler dismissed his argument as ‘nonsense.’