Thursday, September 21, 2023

Republicans have a nonsensical argument against the same-sex marriage law

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Shreya Christina
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A lot Senate Republicans, instead of confronting the content of new legislation that would provide federal protections for same-sex marriage, argue instead that a vote on the bill is not necessary.

In their line of reasoning, lawmakers need not consider this legislation, which has already passed through the House and is known as the Respect for Marriage Actbecause the Supreme Court de Obergefell v. Hodges decision establishing this right as a permanent right.

In his simultaneous opinion in the recent Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision, however, Judge Clarence Thomas said: That Obergefelll was one of the decisions he wanted to reconsider. Earlier, several judges also said they believed roe was an established precedent only to vote to nullify it in dobbs. That has left Democrats arguing that the marriage bill that Congress is considering is vital to enshrine these protections in federal law in case the Supreme Court sets the precedent. Obergefel.

“I don’t think it’s necessary at all,” Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) told cafemadrid. “The Supreme Court has ruled that the Constitution protects same-sex marriage. It’s not in danger of being reversed or nullified, so this is all part of our Democratic colleagues’ attack on the Supreme Court, which has had dangerous consequences.”

Cornyn is one of a number of Republicans, including: Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Bill Cassidy (R-LA)and Mitt Romney (R-UT) who have argued that taking the bill is unnecessary, as the GOP wants to keep its focus on other things, such as inflation. While Cornyn and Rubio are against the bill, Cassidy and Romney are among the Republicans who haven’t said where they stand yet.

“I think it’s completely made up, this controversy,” Cornyn told cafemadrid, arguing that even if Congress passed the bill, the Supreme Court could just quash it. However, that’s a risk Congress takes with every piece of legislation it passes. Nancy Marcus, a law professor at California Western, told cafemadrid it’s unlikely the court could overturn such a law because of the difficulty of finding a plaintiff with the status necessary to bring a case pending. to make. And if the bill were simply redundant, there would be little harm in voting and reaffirming the protection of this issue.

Ultimately, the Republican stance is about deflection. GOP lawmakers would be take an unpopular position if they oppose the bill, they instead claim to oppose excess legislature and overshoot. In addition, this framing helps them avoid what some GOP lawmakers see as a lose-lose scenario: Opposing the measure could spark backlash from moderate voters, while supporting it could infuriate socially conservative members of their grassroots.

This legislation puts pressure on Senate Republicans

In a House vote last week, the Respect for Marriage Act was opposed by most Republicans, but it gained support from about a quarter of the conference, marking an increase in GOP support compared to a vote on the Equal Treatment Act in 2021, that would have added protections for LGBTQ people to the Civil Rights Act.

It’s one of several bills the House recently passed to communicate Democrats’ stance on issues like travel across state lines for abortion, access to birth control, and same-sex marriage. All of those bills would be important if they became law, but the Respect for Marriage Act seems the most likely to actually do so, given the Republican support it received in the House.

The law is a very short, simple law: It would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as a legal union between a man and a woman, and guarantee the recognition of same-sex and interracial marriages under federal law.

Now in the Senate, Senate Leader Chuck Schumer has said he will table the bill once it has 10 Republican votes, the number it takes for legislation to overcome a filibuster.

While certain Republicans have questioned the need for this legislation, others have so far avoided putting forward a position. “I have to read it first,” said Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID). “I have no comment on that yet,” said R-PA Senator Pat Toomey. “No comment,” said Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR).

So far, four Republicans have said they would likely support the legislation, including Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Rob Portman (R-OH) and Thom Tillis (R-NC). sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), a fifth Republican, has also indicated that he is likely to support the bill by making a statement saying he “sees no reason to oppose” the legislation if it is on the ground. coming.

Given the strong support of the American people for same-sex marriage, Republicans would take a very unpopular stance if they vote against the bill. According to an June report from Gallup, 71 percent of Americans believe same-sex marriages should be recognized by law, a big increase from 50 percent about 10 years ago. A July Politico/Morning Consult poll also found that 58 percent of people think Congress should pass a bill that codifies this right into federal law, with 75 percent of Democrats, 62 percent of Independents and 36 percent of Republicans in favor of these policies.

Why Republicans in the Senate Use Distraction Tactics?

A vote on this issue will force Republicans to weigh up a decision that could upset some members of the GOP base.

The June Gallup report found that the people who remain most opposed to same-sex marriage are weekly churchgoers, some of whom make up a significant contingent of socially conservative Republican supporters. And concerns about the response of these voters are likely to lead to some hesitation from Republicans about this bill, the hill reported last week. The Politico/Morning Consult poll found, for example, that while a majority of Democrats and independents were in favor of federal legislation, 51 percent of Republicans were against it.

“It’s a less difficult issue than they think, but I understand it’s a tough issue because there is a section of the Republican base that is strongly opposed to same-sex marriage. In my opinion, gay marriage is an accepted part of American life and will not change,” said Vin Weber, a Republican strategist. told the hill.

sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), the Democrat who leads the Senate consensus, told cafemadrid she expects the legislation to eventually get the 10 Republican votes it needs.

“We are currently dealing with some absentees because of Covid, but I think we will be good,” she said. Currently, several key voices, including Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) are temporarily out because they tested positive for Covid-19 earlier this week. Cornyn, meanwhile, said he wasn’t sure if the Republican votes were there.

The Senate has a tight timeline. It is preparing to leave for recess from Aug. 5, and Senate leaders have not indicated whether they can vote on this legislation before lawmakers leave the city.

The vote on the bill, or lack thereof, will ultimately send a clear signal on Republicans’ stance on same-sex marriage, even if some refuse to grapple with the policy itself.

“I think the American public, Republicans and Democrat, agree with us on this issue. Let’s hope the people here can support too,” Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) told cafemadrid.


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