Speed Reads


House approves bill that would federally protect same-sex marriages

The House on Tuesday passed legislation that would ensure federal protections for same-sex and interracial marriages.

The Respect for Marriage Act had bipartisan support, with 47 Republicans joining all Democrats to vote for the measure. Another 157 Republicans voted no. It would repeal the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman. A Gallup poll conducted last month found that 70 percent of U.S. adults believe same-sex marriages should be recognized by the law as valid.

In June, at the same time the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote an opinion questioning whether the court should "reconsider" the rulings that guarantee access to birth control and allow same-sex couples to marry.

In a statement Monday, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said lawmakers "cannot sit idly by as the hard-earned gains of the equality movement are systemically eroded. If Justice Thomas' concurrence teaches anything, it's that we cannot let our guard down or the rights and freedoms that we have come to cherish will vanish into a cloud of radical ideology and dubious legal reasoning."

It's not clear if there is enough support in the evenly divided Senate to pass the legislation over a Republican filibuster, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has not yet committed to holding a vote on the bill.