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he Democrat-controlled House has paved the way for a new measure that will codify same-sex marriage into law once it reaches President Biden’s desk. The Respect for Marriage Act repeals the Defense of Marriage Act over the objections of most Republican lawmakers who say the new law will infringe on religious rights.
The measure passed 258-169, with 39 Republicans supporting it, and will represent one of the last major pieces of legislation to make it out of the House before Democrats hand over control of the chamber to Republicans in January after the GOP won a majority during the November midterms. The National Defense Authorization Act, the annual defense spending bill, and an omnibus government funding measure, are reportedly in the legislative pipeline as well before the House recesses for the holidays.
The Defense of Marriage Act legally recognized marriage as being between a man and a woman and gave states the power to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages for legal purposes from other states.
The Daily Wire notes:
The bill would not force states to allow same-sex couples to marry under the Supreme Court’s 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision. It would, however, make it so that any “person acting under color of State law” fully recognizes marriage between two people in another state and that the federal government must recognize marriages if they were valid in the state where the marriage occurred.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said when the lower chamber passed a previous bill version, “it is critical to ensure that federal law protects those whose constitutional rights might be threatened by Republican-controlled state legislatures.”
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