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House Approves Protecting Same-Sex and Interracial Unions Bill

By 12/08/2022 6:27 PMNo CommentsBy YidInfo Staff

The House approved the legislation protecting same-sex unions in its final form on Thursday, marking a significant step in the long-running fight for national recognition of such partnerships and a startling shift in cultural attitudes.

The law, which calls for all states to accept same-sex unions, is anticipated to be swiftly signed by President Joe Biden, providing relief to the thousands of couples who have wed since the Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling making same-sex unions legally recognized nationwide.

The 258-169 vote for the bipartisan bill included language requiring states to recognize legal marriages regardless of “sex, race, ethnicity, or national origin,” which would protect interracial relationships.

Several gay members of Congress discussed what it would mean for them and their families during the debate that preceded the vote. Rep. Chris Pappas, D-New Hampshire, said it is “unthinkable” that his marriage would not be recognized in some jurisdictions since he plans to marry “the love of my life” the following year.

The husband and wife of Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., should be able to visit each other in the hospital like any other married couple and be eligible for spousal benefits “regardless of whether your spouse’s name is Samuel or Samantha,” he said.

Marriage equality used to be a “far-fetched idea,” according to Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., but it is now the law of the land and is backed by the vast majority of Americans.

The majority of Republicans opposed the measure, even though it gained GOP votes, and several conservative advocacy groups actively opposed it, believing it doesn’t go far enough to protect people who want to refuse services for same-sex couples.

According to Rep. Bob Good, R-Va., “God’s perfect plan is indeed marriage between one man and one woman for life.” And regardless of what I think or what you think, the Bible says what it says.

Rep. Vicky Hartzler, a Republican from Missouri, sobbed as she asked her fellow lawmakers to vote against the bill because she claimed it would undermine the “natural marriage” of a man and a woman.

Following the Supreme Court’s judgment in June that invalidated the legal right to an abortion, Democrats swiftly passed the bill through the House and Senate. Justice Clarence Thomas offered a concurring opinion with the decision, urging further consideration of same-sex unions.

With the support of 47 Republicans, the House passed a bill in July to safeguard same-sex unions.

This significant and unexpected show of support sparked serious discussions in the Senate.

The law was approved by the Senate last week with 12 Republican votes after months of negotiations.

As one of her final acts in leadership before stepping down in January, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, presided over the vote.

The measure, according to her, “would ensure that the federal government never again stands in the way of marrying the person you love.”

The law would not mandate that states grant same-sex marriage licenses, as the Obergefell v. Hodges ruling by the Supreme Court in 2015 mandates.

However, if the Obergefell ruling were overturned, it would mandate that states recognize all marriages that were valid where they were consummated and would safeguard existing same-sex unions.

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