". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


47 Republicans Vote for National Same-sex Marriage Bill

July 20, 2022

Congressional Democrats passed a bill on Tuesday redefining marriage and forcing states to recognize same-sex “marriages” as legally valid — with the help of 47 Republicans.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) rushed the “Respect for Marriage” Act to a vote this week, claiming that the Supreme Court might overturn the 2015 case that first invented a putative constitutional “right” to same-sex marriage. The bill — which would prevent states from recognizing a marriage as the union of one man and one woman — passed the lower house of Congress by a hefty 267-157 margin. While 157 Republicans voted no, 22% of House Republicans voted to redefine marriage and prevent states from recognizing the natural family in the event the Supreme Court reverses itself.

Before the controversial Obergefell v. Hodges decision, three dozen states — including California — had democratically enacted marriage protection amendments, and only three (Maine, Maryland, and Washington) adopted same-sex marriage by voter referendum. Same-sex marriages account for only 1% of all marriages in the United States, according to the Census Bureau. A mere 10% of those who identify as gay are in a same-sex marriage, according to an estimate by the Gallup poll.

House Democrats’ sudden effort to codify social liberalism into national law “shows that they’re desperate to distract” the public and to focus on “anything but inflation, and jobs slowing, and paychecks shrinking,” Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) told “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins” on Tuesday. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) agreed, saying that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi brought this bill to the floor, because “Democrats can’t run on their disastrous record. They can’t run on any accomplishments less than four months before an election.”

Yet dozens of Republicans seemed determined to give the Democrats a legislative win. House GOP conference chair Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), who voted for the misnamed “Equality Act” in 2019, became the highest-ranking Republican to support the bill. The woman she replaced as the fourth-highest ranking member of House Republican leadership, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) — who began her political career in a public spat with her sister, Mary, highlighting Liz Cheney’s opposition to redefining marriage — voted for the bill. So did Cheney’s fellow member of the January 6 Committee, Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.).

A few of the “yea” votes may indicate some Republicans believe a new position on marriage will bolster the GOP’s electoral fortunes. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, voted for the bill, as did Lee Zeldin, the Republican nominee to unseat Kathy Hochul as governor of New York.

Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-N.Y.) took the unusual position that Republicans should endorse same-sex marriage to avoid removing those who identify as homosexual from government benefits programs. Malliotakis said she voted for the Democratic bill so self-identifying homosexuals will “continue to have the right to equal marriage and benefits under federal law.” The Supreme Court opinion striking down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) opened the doors for LGBT “spouses” to sign up for “thousands of government benefits,” according to AARP — including Social Security survivors benefits, Medicare programs, and tax breaks intended for stay-at-home moms. The most recent trustees’ report notes that Social Security will be insolvent by 2038, and Medicare will go bankrupt by 2028.

The 47 Republicans who voted to redefine marriage nationwide were:

Kelly Armstrong (N.D.)

Don Bacon (Neb.)

Cliff Bentz (Ore.)

Ken Calvert (Calif.)

Kat Cammack (Fla.)

Mike Carey (Ohio)

Liz Cheney (Wyo.)

John Curtis (Utah)

Rodney Davis (Ill.)

Mario Diaz-Balart (Fla.)

Tom Emmer (Minn.)

Brian Fitzpatrick (Pa.)

Andrew Garbarino (N.Y.)

Mike Garcia (Calif.)

Carlos Gimenez (Fla.)

Tony Gonzales (Texas)

Anthony Gonzalez (Ohio)

Ashley Hinson (Iowa)

Darrell Issa (Calif.)

Chris Jacobs (N.Y.)

David Joyce (Ohio)

John Katko (N.Y.)

Adam Kinzinger (Ill.)

Nancy Mace (S.C.)

Nicole Malliotakis (N.Y.)

Brian Mast (Fla.)

Peter Meijer (Mich.)

Dan Meuser (Pa.)

Mariannette Miller-Meeks (Iowa)

Blake Moore (Utah)

Dan Newhouse (Wash.)

Jay Obernolte (Calif.)

Burgess Owens (Utah)

Scott Perry (Pa.)

Tom Rice (S.C.)

Maria Elvira Salazar (Fla.)

Mike Simpson (Idaho)

Elise Stefanik (N.Y.)

Bryan Steil (Wis.)

Chris Stewart (Utah)

Mike Turner (Ohio)

Fred Upton (Mich.)

David Valadao (Calif.)

Jefferson Van Drew (N.J.)

Ann Wagner (Mo.)

Michael Waltz (Fla.)

Lee Zeldin (N.Y.)

Yet the vast majority of congressional Republicans — and the GOP platform — continue to oppose top-down, national marriage redefinition. Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) said the bill rejects a federalist view of states’ rights, a staple of the constitutionalist conservative viewpoint. This bill “would be in direct contradiction to Texas law. It would be in direct contradiction to what the current people of Texas have said on their books with respect to definition of marriage, meaning one man and one woman.” Ironically, some social liberals initially cloaked their support for redefining marriage under the guise of states’ rights.

The bill now heads to the Senate, where it faces an uncertain future. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced Tuesday that he had yet to take a position on the measure. Some Republicans worry voting against the law would undermine the “full faith and credit” clause and jeopardize business interests.

“I hope Republicans don’t fall for this trap,” Roy told Perkins just minutes before the House vote. “I just hope Republicans recognize it’s pretty simple: Don’t vote for gay marriage. That’s it.”

Opponents of the bill say nothing has changed since the days when conservatives affirmed the unique status of the natural, nuclear family as the building block of society. “Obergefell was decided seven years ago. That seems kind of like a long time, but it’s just a blink of an eye when you consider the span of human history, which for centuries, for millennia has recognized marriage between a man and a woman,” David Closson, director of the Center for Biblical Worldview at the Family Research Council. “Civilization depends on it, Tony. But even more significant than that, that’s what the Bible teaches.”

Conservatives should look at the alleged right for same-sex couples to marry as “yet another creation of the court,” said Perkins, with “no foundation in history, no foundation in the Constitution. And it will have tragic consequences for our culture and for our country.”

Some political confusion may emanate from the pulpit. Closson referenced a poll showing one-third of self-described evangelicals did not know whether the Bible directly addresses the issue of marriage. “Marriage is a sacred institution. It was created by God,” insisted Perkins. When Jesus discussed marriage, He cited the perpetual union of one man and one woman described in Genesis 1 and 2. Despite the dearth of biblical knowledge on the topic, Closson said, pastors may be reticent to discuss topics that “put them in the direct crosshairs” of the “new sexual orthodoxy.”

“We have to preach the whole counsel of God,” replied Perkins. “We know this experiment is not going to work, and people are going to be looking for answers. And I think it’s better that if we have the opportunity to correct it now, we correct it now.”

Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.