The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill on Tuesday to protect gay marriage rights, after the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade brought to light the impending risks for same-sex relations and contraception.
The bill – H.R. 8404 or the Respect for Marriage Act – passed the chamber by a 267-157 vote with support from 47 Republicans in the Democratic-controlled chamber. The legislation establishes federal protections for gay marriage and prohibits the denial of valid marriage based on the race or sex of the couple. House Republicans were told to vote with their conscience by the party leadership.
It heads to the Senate for a vote in a split chamber with no clear view on its future. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told The Hill he is working to build support for a House-passed bill recognizing same-sex marriage on the federal level so that it can be approved by the Senate.
The legislation would need 10 GOP votes to overcome a filibuster assuming all of the Senate’s 50 Democrats back it, but hopes for passage have been lifted after 47 Republicans in the House backed the bill. Republican Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) are co-sponsors of the Senate bill.
Under the House bill, states could still restrict gay marriage if the Supreme Court overturns its prior ruling. But such states would be required to recognize marriages that occurred in states where they remain legal. As the House GOP’s still-strong opposition to marriage equality confirms, there’s legitimate reason to question the assumption that gay marriage is a settled issue.
The House will vote Thursday on a bill to guarantee nationwide access to contraception, another right that Justice Clarence Thomas suggested the court revisit.
Pennsylvania Republicans Brian Fitzpatrick, Dan Meuser and Scott Perry cast votes in favor of the bill. How did the rest of the Keystone State’s contingent in the House vote?
- Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks) – YEA
- Brendan Boyle (D-Philadelphia) – YEA
- Dwight Evans (D-Philadelphia) – YEA
- Madeleine Dean (D-Montgomery) – YEA
- Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Delaware) – YEA
- Chrissy Houlahan (D-Chester) – YEA
- Susan Wild (D-Lehigh) – YEA
- Matt Cartwright (D-Lackawanna) – YEA
- Dan Meuser (R-Luzerne) – YEA
- Scott Perry (R-York) – YEA
- Lloyd Smucker (R-Lancaster) – NAY
- Fred Keller (R-Northumberland) – NAY
- John Joyce (R-Blair) – NAY
- Guy Reschenthaler (R-Allegheny) – NAY
- Glenn Thompson (R-Centre) – NAY
- Mike Kelly (R-Butler) – NAY
- Conor Lamb (D-Allegheny) – YEA
- Mike Doyle (D-Butler) – YEA