House passes bill redefining marriage
The U.S. House of Representatives gave final approval Thursday to the so-called Respect for Marriage Act, which seeks to enshrine same-sex marriage into federal law. The bill passed 258-169 and prohibits a person from using state law to challenge the legitimacy of marriage based on “the sex, race, ethnicity, or national origin of those individuals.” The Senate proposed the bill as a way to protect same-sex marriage in case the Supreme Court overturns Obergefell v. Hodges, the 2015 decision that legalized gay marriage countrywide. Now the bill heads to President Joe Biden’s desk to be signed, which he has said he will do.
Does the bill have religious protections? Many Republicans opposed the bill, saying it didn’t do enough to protect religious liberty. The bill includes some protections for religious liberty, but the Senate voted down other, more robust protections. An attorney for Alliance Defending Freedom said in a WORLD column that the wording implies a new burden on organizations that work closely with the government. Republicans in the House also spoke against the bill, saying it will open up religious groups and businesses to new lawsuits.
Dig deeper: Read Leo Briceno and Christina Grube’s report in The Stew on how the Respect for Marriage Act redefines marriage.
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