With the passage of the Respect for Marriage Act in the U.S. House of Representatives, the bill now makes its way to the desk of President Joe Biden. The bill provides for the statutory authority for same-sex and interracial marriages.
According to the congressional bill, it replaces the provisions that define marriage as between a man and a woman and spouse as a person of the opposite sex with provisions that recognize any marriage between two individuals that is valid under state law. It also replaces provisions that don’t 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. It also allows the U.S. Department of Justice to bring civil action and establishes a private right of action for violations.
What did garner attention was Missouri Rep. Vicky Hartzler, who said on the House floor: (note: her speech begins at 29:22)
Among those who did celebrate its passage was Missouri Rep. Emanuel Cleaver:
— Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (@repcleaver) December 8, 2022
Rep. Ann Wagner was the only House member from Missouri who voted in favor of the bill. She says that the bill doesn’t change the biblical definition of marriage, it just ensures the constitution is properly followed and everyone has equal rights under the law.
The legislation passed on a 258 to 169 vote with several House Republicans supporting the bill, including Missouri’s Ann Wagner. Reps. Cori Bush and Emanuel Cleaver also voted in favor, while Reps. Blaine Luetkemeyer, Sam Graves, Billy Long, and Vicky Hartzler all voting against its passage. It previously passed the U.S. Senate on a 61 to 36 vote.
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