Utah Republican Senator Mitt Romney has stated that he still believes in “traditional marriage” after joining several of his Republican Party colleagues in voting for the Marriage Respect Act.
The bill will go to the House after a 62-37 vote Wednesday, after 12 Republican senators, as well as all 50 Democrats, voted in favor of the bipartisan bill. The House already passed the bill in July, but will now have to vote again as the Senate bill includes amendments designed to protect religious institutions.
In a statement posted on his Twitter account Romney said that he “heartily” supports the legislation, noting that it “provides important protections for religious freedom.”
“While I believe in traditional marriage, Obergefell is and has been the law of the country LGBTQ people have relied on,” Romney wrote. “This bill gives reassurance to many LGBTQ Americans and signals that Congress – and I – respect and love all of our fellow citizens equally.”
If passed, the Marriage Respect Act would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act signed by then-President Bill Clinton in 1996, which required states not to recognize same-s*x marriages performed in another state. This means that same-s*x couples have no guarantee that their matrimonial benefits will be recognized or protected if they leave the state in which they obtained a marriage license.
House bill passed this summer, says states will not be able to refuse “any public act, record, or legal proceeding of any other state relating to marriage” on the basis of s*x or race.
The Senate added sec correction Wednesday’s legislation says religious institutions “shall not be required to provide services, accommodation, benefits, amenities, goods or privileges in connection with the marriage ceremony or celebration.”
While same-s*x marriage is legal under a 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Obergefell vs. Hodgessince the overthrow of the supreme court, pressure to codify same-s*x marriage protections has intensified Roe vs. Wade at the end of June.
President Joe Biden told wa statement Wednesday that the Senate’s bipartisan bill “will ensure that LGBTQI+ couples and interracial couples are respected and equally protected under federal law, and will give these families greater certainty since the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs“.
“I urge Congress to quickly send this bill to my desk, where I will sign it immediately,” Biden added.
Romney’s voice shared with his fellow Utah senator, a Republican Mike Leewho tweeted on his personal Twitter account Tuesday night ahead of the vote that the religious protections in the Marriage Respect Act were “seriously anemic.”
“No American should face legal threats for sincere religious beliefs or beliefs,” Lee wrote. “The bill before the Senate poses such a threat and protection of religious liberty that can only be described as severe anemia.”
Other Republicans also explained why they voted against the bill, including Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson who said: “The Marriage Respect Act is unnecessary because Obergefell the decision is an established law and there is no chance of repealing it tweet from NBC News reporter Sahil Kapur.
Newsweek he approached Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for comment.
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