Republican senators help Democrats pass gay marriage bill in lame duck session

Despite losing control of the House, Democrats are on track to pass a bill making gay marriage the law of the land in the lame-duck session, and Republicans are helping them do it.

In the Republican party’s latest betrayal to its conservative base, 12 GOP Senators voted to enshrine one of the left’s biggest cultural victories in recent years by advancing the so-called “Respect for Marriage Act,” Breitbart reported. 

Republicans help Dems pass gay marriage bill

The 12 senators are: Roy Blunt (R-MO), Richard Burr (R-NC), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Susan Collins (R-ME), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Rob Portman (R-OH), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Todd Young (R-IN).

Of those, Portman, Blunt, and Burr are retiring. Republican senators, 37 of whom voted no, had reached an agreement with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-Ny.) to wait until after the midterm election to vote.

The so-called Respect for Marriage Act would rewrite federal law to impose a novel definition of marriage that few Americans recognized in the not-so-distant past, while inviting further harassment of the nation’s embattled Christians.

The bill repeals the Clinton-era Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as being between a man and a woman, while forcing states that do not recognize same-sex marriage to give “full faith and credit” to gay couplings that are “valid in the State where the marriage was entered into.”

Attack on religious conscience

Critics say a so-called conscience provision that was shoe-horned into the bill by a “bi-partisan” group does not provide substantive protections for people of faith.

The Heritage Foundation’s Roger Severino wrote that the religious freedom amendment doesn’t protect “private bakers, florists, photographers, and other wedding vendors,” such as Colorado baker Jack Phillips, whose widely publicized, years-long court ordeal inspired the ironic slogan, “bake the cake, bigot.”

Democrats say the bill is needed after the fall of Roe v. Wade this year and comments from Justice Clarence Thomas suggesting that the Supreme Court repeal its 2015 decree Obergefell v. Hodges, which unilaterally imposed gay marriage on the entire country.

Culture shift

Public attitudes on same-sex marriage have softened dramatically, especially after the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell, and it now appears Republicans who still defended the Biblical definition of marriage less than a decade ago are ready to turn the page.

Joe Biden hailed the Senate’s vote with the now-ubiquitous tautology, “love is love.”

The Respect for Marriage Act passed the House with support from 47 Republicans in July, but the House will still need to vote on the Senate version before it goes to Biden’s desk.