The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives passed the Respect for Marriage Act (RFMA) to undermine the incoming Republican majority and the U.S. Supreme Court. There were 39 Republicans that voted in favor of the bill, which passed 258-169-1.
A version of the bill had already passed the Senate in November, with 12 Republican senators joining the Democrats in support of it. In this latest vote, the House approved the bill a second time. During the House debate over the summer, 47 House Republicans joined Democrats to pass the bill.
In comparison to other bills, the act was passed quickly. This is because the Democratic Party wants to eliminate the power of the incoming GOP majority and because they fear possible Supreme Court intervention. Roe v. Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court in June, which led to a Democratic push for this particular bill.
Read more about what the Respect for Marriage Act does and doesn't do here.
If you're mad about its shortcomings, be mad a the GOP for threatening Obergefell. Don't be mad at Congressional Ds for using the powers they have to defend LGBTQ+ rights. https://t.co/f4397vNmN3
— Loren Crowe 🏳️🌈 (@LorenCrowe) November 15, 2022
Fear arose when Justice Clarence Thomas called on the court to reconsider Obergefell v. Hodges, the 2015 decision that recognized same-sex marriage as a constitutional right. The Hill wrote, “Thomas’s statement — and seeing a landmark case overturned — set off alarm bells among Democrats that LGBTQ rights were in danger.”
In reality, the RFMA isn’t a marriage defense because its primary purpose is to strip power from the states and the U.S. Supreme Court. Further, it’s a way to undermine the court before they even get a chance to hear such a case. It also had to be pushed through a super-fast deadline to make sure it passed before the GOP took over the House.