U.S. House of Representatives Passes Marriage Equality Act

The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a bill to protect the rights to same-sex marriage after the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Roe v. Wade jeopardized similar precedents protecting rights to same-sex relationships and contraception.
The bill, passed by a Democratic-controlled house 267 to 157 with support from 47 Republicans, establishes federal protections for same-sex marriage and prohibits anyone from denying the validity of a marriage based on a couple’s race or gender.

He will now head to the Senate for a vote, where he faces vague divisions in an evenly divided house. Republicans in the House of Representatives were told to vote with their conscience by the party leadership, who did not oppose the bill.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler sponsored the bill after the federal right to abortion was repealed when the Supreme Court overturned its landmark Roe v. Wade ruling in 1973.
In a concurring opinion, Judge Clarence Thomas said the court should also review its past 2015 rulings guaranteeing access to contraceptives and the right to same-sex marriage because they relied on the same legal arguments as Roe.

Some Republicans in Congress supported Thomas’s arguments.

Republican Senator Ted Cruz said Saturday that the Supreme Court was “clearly wrong” in establishing a federal right to same-sex marriage.
Democrats argue that Congress should enshrine the right to same-sex marriage in federal law in case the court reviews its past decisions.

“The rights and freedoms we have come to cherish will dissolve into a cloud of radical ideology and dubious legal arguments,” Mr. Nadler said in a statement on Monday.

Under a House bill, states can still restrict same-sex marriage if the Supreme Court reverses its previous ruling.
But such states will have to recognize marriages performed in states where they remain legal.
On Thursday, the House of Representatives will vote on a bill guaranteeing nationwide access to contraceptives, another right that Mr Thomas has asked the court to reconsider.

Democrats hope the bills will contrast with Republican bills ahead of the Nov. 8 midterm elections, in which soaring inflation challenges Democratic majorities in the House and Senate.