GOP Rep. Who Opposes Same-Sex Marriage Cries As House Passes Protections

A historic bill codifying protections for same-sex marriages is going to become law despite an emotional plea in opposition from Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.).

Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) got emotional on Thursday as the House of Representatives moved to pass a historic bill codifying protections for same-sex and interracial marriages.

The Missouri congresswoman, who is a social conservative and longtime opponent of same-sex marriage, urged her colleagues to reject the bill on the grounds that it would undermine “traditional” marriages.

“This is yet another step toward the Democrats’ goal of dismantling the traditional family, silencing voices of faith and permanently undoing our country’s God-woven foundation. I hope and pray that my colleagues will find the courage to join me in opposing this misguided and dangerous bill,” Hartzler said in a speech on the House floor, appearing to break into tears.

The Respect for Marriage Act passed in a 258-169 vote, with 39 Republicans in support. The measure passed the Senate last month by a similar bipartisan margin of 61-36. Republicans who backed the bill said they were assured by additional protections for religious liberty that were added to the Senate version. The bill now heads to President Joe Biden’s desk.

The bill repeals the Defense of Marriage Act, the 1996 federal law that banned same-sex marriage, and it requires states to recognize valid same-sex marriages from other states. It also ensures the same protections for interracial marriages.

Democrats advanced the measure after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade earlier this summer, destroying a 50-year precedent that guaranteed a federal right to an abortion. Justice Clarence Thomas raised alarms after he argued the court should next set its sights on other precedents, like the one establishing a right to marriage equality.

Public support for same-sex marriage hit a record high earlier this year and its approval is likely to continue trending upward, according to a Gallup survey conducted in June. The poll also found that a small majority of Republicans backed same-sex marriage.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), one of the main sponsors of the Respect for Marriage Act and the first openly bisexual member of the Senate, celebrated Thursday’s vote in a post on Twitter.

“Being gay is normal. Gay friends, gay family members, and gay marriages are normal,” Sinema tweeted. “Our Respect for Marriage Act now heads to the President’s desk — ensuring same-sex married couples enjoy the same protections as all other married couples. It’s a great day in America.”

Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.), who presided over the House floor as Hartzler spoke, suggested opponents of same-sex marriage had lost the argument.

“For too long, Republicans have tried to stop a full vision of marriage equality in America. Their time has expired,” he wrote on Twitter.

Popular in the Community


What's Hot