Will they support marriage equality or not? That is the question Senate Republicans are asking. Proponents of the Senate’s version of the House’s Respect for Marriage Act believe they are close to finding 10 Republican votes to offset the 60 votes needed to pass the measure and overcome a filibuster. But many Republicans have been very quiet about whether or not they support the bill. A common response is that they haven’t reviewed the bill yet — a four-page document.
Republican Senators Susan Collins and Rob Portman co-sponsored the bill.
The length of time it took just to confirm that eight more GOP members will vote yes on the measure is quite at odds with the lightning speed at which the House introduced and passed the bill. It aims to codify marriage equality for LGBTQ and interracial couples into law and would effectively end long-awaited attempts to plunge the United States back into darker times by banning marriages for some based on sexual orientation or gender. breed.
The length of time it took just to confirm that eight more GOP members will vote yes on the measure is quite at odds with the lightning speed at which the House introduced and passed the bill.
With 47 House Republicans voting in favor of the bill, it looks like conservative lawmakers have realized something very important: they can’t be the party of family values. and be in favor of withdrawing the right to be a family from several of their voters at the same time.
Now, we’re waiting to see how many Senate Republicans have realized that too.
As a journalist who has covered many similar pieces of legislation, this question is also particularly personal. For many queer people, marriage is not even a goal. In many communities, it’s still something that’s considered what boring heteronormative suburban gays do. I say this as someone who Is I want to get married one day and it hurts that marriage was legalized for me just as my last serious relationship ended – and could be taken away just as I moved in with a new one. partner and explore domestic bliss once again.
But whether that’s a knot you’d like to tie (or not), everyone from staunch Republican voters to anti-assimilationist gay activists agrees that it’s a right people should have. Marriage equality was never about assimilation – it was about ending a separate but equal society in which only certain people have basic rights, including financial security, protection and stability children, while others are considered inferior and unworthy of them. same rights and recognition of the relationship.
A majority of American voters from all political parties have supported equal marriage rights for same-sex couples since 2021, when the annual Gallup Values and Beliefs poll found that 55% of Republicans, 73% of independents and 83% of Democrats declared same-sex marriages. must be recognized by law. This year, Gallup reported that 71% — up from 70% last year — of Americans support LGBTQ marriage rights. This is a number that has been increasing every year since Obergefell v. Hodges legalized it. This could explain why 47 Republican House Representatives voted in favor of the Respect for Marriage Act in this era of hyper-partisanship and division on all things political.
Decades of advocacy and activism have led to this moment: LGBTQ people are more visible and accepted than ever in mainstream society, and marriage is a fundamental part of that. We are out and proud, able to live authentically at work, school and in communities without having to hide our partners and identities for fear of repercussions. Another Gallup poll this year found that 7.1% of the US population identifies as LGBTQ, with the number increasing with each younger generation to the point where 1 in 5 members of Gen Z identify as LGBTQ.
This visibility has led to increased discrimination. A 2022 report from GLAAD found that 70% of LGBTQ people said personal discrimination had increased over the past two years. Not to mention the dozens of discriminatory state laws proposed to lock LGBTQ youth in a closet they never had to be in. But change inevitably comes; when it comes to LGBTQ equality, the train has already left the station.
The GOP claims to be for family values. LGBTQ people now have families. Families with children.
LGBTQ people serve at all levels of government, from the Federal Cabinet to the government. Transportation Secretary and presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg and her husband, Chasten, have campaigned openly and lovingly to help millions see how friendly same-sex couples can be. Buttigieg’s unspoken campaign slogan might as well have been, “We’re boring and suburban, just like you.” We are a long way from the 2004 resignation of former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey, who resigned amid brewing scandal and exit threats with a new phrase that quickly entered the discourse: “I am a gay man. American”.
But the current conservative makeup of the Supreme Court threatens to halt the progress LGBTQ communities have fought so hard for. When Judge Clarence Thomas said the court should “reconsider” its decision in cases like Obergefell, which guaranteed same-sex couples the right to marry, and Lawrence v. Texas, which decriminalized LGBTQ intimacy, caused such panic in LGBTQ communities across the country. How could he not? After all, the nation had just seen the court decide to eliminate the constitutional right to abortion – despite the fact that a majority of Americans disagreed with the decision.
Even “considering” overturning constitutional protections for the LGBTQ community would be out of step with not only what the majority of the American people, including the majority of Republicans, want. But anything seems possible right now.
Now is the time for Republican lawmakers to act. The GOP claims to be for family values. LGBTQ people now have families. Families with children. How would a Wanda Sykes or a Neil Patrick Harris, let alone the countless other LGBTQ parents across America, explain to their children why the Supreme Court annulled their parents’ marriage and why the government did nothing to stop it? When did breaking up families become a mandate of the Family Values Party? These questions should haunt the 157 House Republicans who voted versus the Respect for Marriage Act, and it should give thought to senators ready to vote for themselves. Republican voters have made it clear that they support marriage equality. Now it’s up to Republican senators to listen.