Congress Passes the Respect for Marriage Act



Today, the US House passed the Respect for Marriage Act.

Elliot Eisenberg

It seems that much of what the government does these days is reverse old laws. The overturning of Roe v. Wade, a precedent that had been in effect since 1973, has changed the fundamental workings of America, raising much debate and controversy. Now, Congress is looking for a way to protect a recent, crucial Supreme Court decision: the legalization of same-sex marriage.

In 2015 with Obergefell v. Hodge, a Supreme Court decision set the precedent that people have the right to marry whomever they choose in the US. This legalization of same-sex marriage meant every state had to not only recognize a union of two people but also produce a marriage license. Now, with America so divided on a multitude of political frontiers, those in favor of landmark decisions like these are looking to pass bills that protect these precedents.

Recently, the Senate passed the Respect for Marriage Act, which would offer some protection for legal same-sex marriage if Obergefell v. Hodge was to be overturned. On Thursday, the House passed the bill. Under the bill, if Obergefell v. Hodge were to be overturned, not every state would be required to allow same-sex marriages. However, if this couple were to get married elsewhere, in a state where they as a couple would be able to get married legally, all states would be forced to recognize them as an officially married couple. While the proposed bill doesn’t protect same-sex marriage the way Obergefell v. Hodge does, it enables a layer of safety for same-sex couples in the future. The bill is now in President Biden’s hands, and he is expected to sign it into law.

Another milestone was the Mormon church commending the idea of this bill. Traditionally, many people would assume that the Mormon church is against the LGBTQ+ community, and many would say that the Mormon church believes it’s a sin to be in a relationship that is not heterosexual. Their released statement read “as we work together to preserve the principles and practices of religious freedom together with the rights of LGBTQ individuals, much can be accomplished to heal relationships and foster greater understanding.” While not yet promoting the idea of same-sex marriage, they are taking a step in the right direction to preserve the basic freedom that all American people deserve to enjoy.