The U.S. House of Representatives voted Tuesday to protect marriage equality and enshrine it as law as the conservative-leaning Supreme Court seems poised to revisit the issue. The Bipartisan Respect for Marriage Act passed the house by a vote of 267 to 157, with 47 Republicans joining with the Dems to vote for the bill.
As for the Michigan delegation, all seven Democratic U.S. reps from the state — Debbie Dingell, Daniel Kildee, Brenda Lawrence, Andy Levin, Elissa Slotkin, Haley Stevens and Rashida Tlaib — voted in favor of the act. Two Republicans, Peter Meijer of Grand Rapids and Fred Upton of St. Joseph, also voted for the act. Meanwhile, the other five Michigan Republican reps — Jack Bergman, Bill Huizenga, Lisa McClain, John Moolenaar and Tim Walberg — voted against it.
The Bipartisan Respect for Marriage Act would guarantee the federal rights, benefits and obligations of marriages in the federal code, repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and affirm that public acts, records and proceedings should be recognized by all states.
“The Defense of Marriage Act — which shamefully excluded legally married same-sex couples from accessing the federal rights, benefits, and obligations of marriage — is a black mark upon our nation that needs to be erased from our code of law,” said Human Rights Campaign Interim President Joni Madison in response to the bill’s passage. “The Respect for Marriage Act is an opportunity to right this legislative wrong by replacing this black mark with an inclusive law.”
It is unclear whether the act will pass the Senate. A total of 10 Republican senators would need to vote with all 48 Democratic senators and the two Independent senators who caucus with Democrats to reach a filibuster-proof majority.
“The fact that this bill passed with strong bipartisan support — earning the votes of 47 Republicans — proves that marriage equality is supported by a wide swath of the American people, and is not going anywhere,” Madison’s statement continued. “We strongly urge the Senate to follow the example set by their colleagues in the House and vote to pass this bill.”
A Gallup poll from last year showed that support for marriage equality in the country is now at 70 percent for the first time. According to the poll, 81 percent of Democrats and 73 percent of Independents favor marriage equality. Among Republicans, feelings on the matter are mixed almost evenly, with 48 percent in support and 50 percent opposed.