A look at pending legislation to protect same-sex marriages

Jul 29, 2022, 1:12 AM | Updated: 1:20 pm
FILE - With the U.S. Capitol in the background, a person waves a rainbow flag as they participant i...

FILE - With the U.S. Capitol in the background, a person waves a rainbow flag as they participant in a rally in support of the LGBTQIA+ community at Freedom Plaza, Saturday, June 12, 2021, in Washington. The U.S. House overwhelmingly approved legislation Tuesday, July, 19, 2022, to protect same-sex and interracial marriages amid concerns that the Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade abortion access could jeopardize other rights criticized by many conservative Americans. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

(AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Respect for Marriage Act, now pending in the Senate, would ensure that same-sex marriages are still legally recognized nationwide if the Supreme Court were to overturn its 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision that declared a constitutional right for gay couples to wed.

The House-passed legislation has some Republican support and is expected to come up for a vote in September. It is part of an effort by Democrats to protect various rights after Supreme Court decision last month to overturn Roe vs. Wade, which legalized abortion in all states.

While the Senate is not expected to approve separate House bills to legalize abortion or protect contraception rights, the same-sex marriage legislation has a real shot at passage after a handful of Republican senators indicated they would vote for it. Democrats need 10 GOP votes to overcome a filibuster and get the legislation through the 50-50 Senate.

A look at the bill:

PROTECTS, BUT DOESN’T CODIFY

The bill is designed to protect same-sex marriages after Justice Clarence Thomas suggested in a concurring opinion that the Obergefell decision upholding gay marriage should also be reconsidered.

The legislation wouldn’t codify, or enshrine into law, Obergefell, which now requires states to issue same-sex marriage licenses. If the bill were passed and Obergefell were later overturned, some states could stop issuing those licenses, but all states would still have to recognize same-sex marriages performed legally in other states.

The practical effect of that would be that some people couldn’t get married in their own states, but all same-sex marriages would continue to be recognized and eligible for the legal benefits of marriage.

Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin, the lead Democrat pushing the bill in the Senate, says the legislation was written that way because marriage is currently regulated by the states, not the federal government. Any legislation requiring federal regulation of marriages would be unlikely to garner enough support to pass.

REPEAL THE DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE ACT

If Obergefell were overturned today, federal law would partially revert to a 1996 statute called the Defense of Marriage Act. That legislation allowed states not to recognize same-sex marriages and legally defined the word “marriage” as a union between one man and one woman.

The bill would fully repeal that law, replacing it with the new language requiring that states and the federal government consider an individual married if they have been legally married in any state.

A separate 2013 Supreme Court case, United States v. Windsor, repealed part of the Defense of Marriage Act that kept legally married same-sex couples from receiving federal tax, health and pension benefits that were otherwise available to married couples. The bill includes provisions to ensure those benefits remain for same-sex couples, as well.

INTERRACIAL MARRIAGE

In addition to same-sex marriages, the bill would protect interracial marriages that were affirmed by the 1960s-era Supreme Court decision Loving v. Virginia. That decision invalidated state laws that banned marriages between individuals of different races.

The bill prohibits states “from denying full faith and credit to an out-of-state marriage based on the sex, race, ethnicity or national origin of the individuals in the marriage.”

___

Associated Press writer Mark Sherman in Washington contributed to this report.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

A view of a bridge that has collapsed over the River Laagen, in Gudbrandsdalen, Norway, Monday, Aug...
Associated Press

Norway bridge collapses, drivers of 2 vehicles rescued

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — A wooden bridge over a river in southern Norway collapsed early Monday, with a car plunging into the water and a truck getting stuck on a raised section. The drivers of both vehicles were rescued and doing well, police said. Police were alerted shortly after 7:30 a.m. (0530 GMT) that the […]
1 day ago
FILE - Philippine Ambassador to the U.S. Jose Manuel Romualdez speaks during a U.S. Trade and Devel...
Associated Press

Philippines eyes US helicopters after scrapping Russian deal

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine officials are considering a U.S. offer to provide heavy-lift helicopters like its widely used Chinooks after Manila scrapped a deal to buy military choppers from Russia due to fears of Western sanctions, the Philippine ambassador to Washington said Monday. Then-President Rodrigo Duterte approved the cancellation of the signed deal to […]
1 day ago
In this photo released on Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022, by the Iranian Foreign Ministry, Foreign Ministr...
Associated Press

Iran denies involvement but justifies Salman Rushdie attack

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — An Iranian government official denied on Monday that Tehran was involved in the assault on author Salman Rushdie, though he justified the stabbing in remarks that represented the Islamic Republic’s first public comments on the attack. The comments by Nasser Kanaani, the spokesman of Iran’s Foreign Ministry, came more […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

This Week: Walmart earns, Fed meeting minutes, US home sales

A look at some of the key business events and economic indicators upcoming this week: SPOTLIGHT ON WALMART Wall Street expects another mixed quarterly report card from Walmart. Analysts predict the nation’s largest retailer will report on Tuesday that its fiscal second-quarter earnings fell and its revenue rose compared with the same period last year. […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Mariners visit the Angels to start 3-game series

Seattle Mariners (62-54, second in the AL West) vs. Los Angeles Angels (51-64, fourth in the AL West) Anaheim, California; Monday, 9:38 p.m. EDT PITCHING PROBABLES: Mariners: Luis Castillo (5-4, 2.71 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 105 strikeouts); Angels: Shohei Ohtani (10-7, 2.68 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 157 strikeouts) FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK LINE: Angels -120, Mariners +101; over/under is […]
1 day ago
Anastasiia Aleksandrova, 12, right, sits with her grandmother, Olena, at their home in Sloviansk, D...
Associated Press

Boredom, loneliness plague Ukrainian youth near front line

SLOVIANSK, Ukraine (AP) — Anastasiia Aleksandrova doesn’t even look up from her phone when the thunder of nearby artillery booms through the modest home the 12-year-old shares with her grandparents on the outskirts of Sloviansk in eastern Ukraine. With no one her age left in her neighborhood and classes only online since Russia’s invasion, video […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
...

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]
...

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]
A look at pending legislation to protect same-sex marriages