President Joe Biden signed the Democrats’ same-sex marriage bill amid fanfare and celebration, but an attorney-led Christian ministry that says it won nearly 50 cases defending marriage as between one man and one woman before the Obergefell decision asserts the passage of the legislation can now “actually create the perfect scenario to overturn” the Supreme Court’s 2015 5-4 ruling.
Biden signed the Respect for Marriage Act (RFMA) Tuesday.
House Democrats have blocked an amendment that would have strengthened religious liberty protections to their legislation to codify same-sex marriage to ensure swift passage of the bill before Republicans take over leadership of the House in the new year.
“If we were to amend this, and it goes back to the Senate, for all intents and purposes it’s dead for the year,” said House Rules Committee Chairman Rep. James McGovern (D-MA), who rejected Representative Chip Roy’s (R-TX) amendment for advancement to the House floor.
Several groups argue the Respect for Marriage Act (ROMA) currently before the U.S. Senate is unconstitutional, and if enacted, will eventually be struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The bill, HR 8404, was introduced in the House by U.S. Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-NY, on July 18 and passed by a vote of 267-157 the next day. The U.S. Senate took it up on November 14.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) moved for a procedural vote Wednesday on legislation that would enshrine same-sex marriage in federal law and block any states refusing to recognize such marriages.
The bill also would provide federal protection for interracial marriage.
The U.S. House passed a bill to codify same-sex marriage late Tuesday, but whether it will pass the Senate remains up in the air.
The “Respect for Marriage Act” passed the House 267-157 with 47 Republicans voting in favor. The legislation would overturn the Defense of Marriage Act, signed into law by former President Bill Clinton in 1996, which defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman. That law has been largely gutted by the Supreme Court but still remains on the books.