Democrats appear to be putting up a false fight for same-sex marriage. The Democrat-backed Respect for Marriage Act would formally repeal the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. The 1996 law recognized marriage as “only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife.”
The 1996 law – and all state laws protecting such marriages – was “effectively invalidated by the Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges. This decision legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. Although the 1996 law was still on the books, it was deactivated by the Obergefell v. Hodges decision.
So, why are Democrats taking legislative time to write and pass the Respect for Marriage Act? Also, why did 47 Republicans support the bill?
The genius known as Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) and serving as Judiciary Committee Chairman, explained the following during the floor debate in the House: the bill would “reaffirm that marriage equality is and must remain the law of the land.” Democrats passed the bill in response to the overturning of Roe v. Wade by the Supreme Court because they fear that Obergefell v. Hodges (legalized same-sex marriage) and Loving v. Virginia (1967 decision that outlawed state bans on interracial marriage) will face Court challenges.
If Obergefell v. Hodges (possible) and/or Loving v. Virginia (questionable) could be overturned, what is to stop the Supreme Court from ruling that the Respect for Marriage Act is unconstitutional? I see the Court ruling on a states-right basis whether it is a law or a previous decision of the Supreme Court.
It seems to me that passing such a law is an invitation for someone to challenge it. The Supreme Court does not rule on laws that are not challenged. However, they do rule on challenges that question constitutional rights. If the Court did not find a “privacy right” when ruling on Roe v. Wade, how can it find one in a ruling on Obergefell v. Hodges?
Even though the Court has not overturned many laws passed by Congress, it has done so. If there is no constitutional right for same-sex marriage, does it matter if it is overturned by a decision on federal legislation or a previous Court decision? Marriage is like abortion in that it is not mentioned in the Constitution. In addition, same-sex marriage does not have a long history of societal approval. The Supreme Court sent abortion back to the states for further debate, and it could send the marriage question back to the states.
I am not surprised that the Democrats would throw up another “hail Mary” attempt to distract voters from the Democrat-caused dismal conditions in America. I am surprised that any GOP members would support. More than 75% of GOP members in the House voted against the bill.
Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) put the matter plainly before the vote: “Tonight, a large number (a majority?) of the @HouseGOP is poised to vote FOR formal, legislative recognition of gay marriage while hiding behind interstate recognition of interracial marriage (a solution in search of a problem), allowing Dems to deflect from their failures.”
Rep. Jody Hice (R-Georgia), tweeted: “Today I voted NO on H.R. 8404, the ‘Respect for Marriage Act.’ It’s a slap in the face of our federalist system that is just the latest effort to impose their leftist agenda on the entire country.”