House Passes Same-Sex Marriage Bill, Backed by 47 Republicans

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The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill to codify same-sex marriage into law.

The Democrat-controlled lower house passed the Respect for Marriage Act (H.R. 8404), a bill that codifies same-sex marriage into U.S. law, with a bipartisan 267–157 vote; 47 House Republicans backed the bill. The bill now heads to the Senate, where 10 Republican votes are needed to overcome the filibuster threshold.

“Specifically, the bill repeals and replaces provisions that define, for purposes of federal law, marriage as between a man and a woman and spouse as a person of the opposite sex with provisions that recognize any marriage that is valid under state law,” reads the bill’s summary on Congress’s website.

“The bill also repeals and replaces provisions that do not require states to recognize same-sex marriages from other states with provisions that prohibit the denial of full faith and credit or any right or claim relating to out-of-state marriages on the basis of sex, race, ethnicity, or national origin,” the bill’s summary continued.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) introduced the bill on July 18.

The passage of the bill came a month after the Supreme Court ruled on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (pdf), a decision that overturned the 1981 landmark abortion decision, Roe v. Wade. The highest court opined in Dobbs that decisions affected by the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment should be “reconsidered.”

In his concurring opinion to Dobbs’s majority ruling, Justice Clarence Thomas said that “‘substantive due process’ is an oxymoron that lack[s] any basis in the Constitution” and that “the Due Process Clause does not secure any substantive rights.”

For this reason, Thomas said that “in future cases, [the justices] should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell,” and that “because any substantive due process decision is ‘demonstrably erroneous,’ we have a duty to ‘correct the error’ established in those precedents.”

By Gary Bai

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