WASHINGTON—The House passed a bill that would provide protection for same-sex and interracial marriage under federal law, with Democratic lawmakers saying the recent Supreme Court ruling ending abortion rights could endanger other precedents.
The 267-157 vote on the Respect for Marriage Act comes the same week the chamber is also set to vote on the Right to Contraception Act. Both pieces of legislation would enshrine into law rights not enumerated in the Constitution but that the court has recognized in recent decades. Senate Democrats haven’t said if they will schedule votes on the House bills.
With these votes, Democrats are challenging Republicans to line up behind rights favored by most Americans. On the marriage bill, 47 GOP lawmakers joined with all Democrats in support, while other Republicans dismissed it as a political stunt to protect rights that don’t need protecting.
Rep. David Cicilline (D., R.I.), a co-sponsor of the marriage legislation who is gay, said “millions of LGBTQ families…are worried about the Supreme Court’s intention to rip away more freedoms.”
Rep. Mike Johnson (R., La.) said that Democrats proposed the legislation so they could run ads in an election cycle. “This bill is just another superfluous exercise, this bill is completely unnecessary,” he said on the House floor.
Democrats are seen as the underdogs in November’s midterm elections in the House, and they have been rolling out a series of votes related to hot-button social issues. Many of the votes have been designed to underscore contrasts with Republicans headed into the elections rather than pass new law, as on issues like abortion there is little chance for compromise seen in the Senate.
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Source: Wall Street Journal