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  • Writer's pictureWe Are Neighbors

U.S. Passes Legislation Protecting Marriage Equality After Roe v. Wade was Overturned

  • Following last month’s Supreme Court reversal of Roe v. Wade, Democrats are hoping to codify same-sex marriage rights granted in the 2015 landmark case Obergefell v. Hodges.

On July 19th, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would protect gay marriage rights. The bill comes almost a month after Roe v. Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court, in which similar precedent was overturned.


The bill, the Respect for Marriage Act, passed the house 267-157, with 47 republicans joining with Democrats voting yes.


If passed in the Senate, the bill would recognize the legitimacy of marriages performed in any of the 50 states. It also would officially repeal the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as a union between man and woman and allowed states to not recognize same-sex marraiges performed in another state.


Not in the bill is forcing every state to allow gay marriage, but, in the event that Obergefell is overturned, all states must recognize same-sex marriages from other states.


The Supreme Court legalized gay marriage in Obergefell vs. Hodges in 2015, but in his concurring opinion overturning Roe, Justice Clarence Thomas suggested revisiting Obergefell.

The Justice writes, “in future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell.”


Now that it has passed the House, it is unclear whether the Respect for Marriage Act will succeed in the Senate. It needs 60 out of 100 votes to pass through the senate and on to the desk of Joe Biden.


Some Republican senators have already announced both their support and opposition.


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