WASHINGTON, July 19 – The U.S. House of Representatives was expected on Tuesday to approve legislation protecting gay marriage rights after the Supreme Court decides to overturn Roe v. Wade threatening similar precedents that protected same-sex relationship rights gender, and contraception.
The bill establishes federal protections for gay marriage and prohibits anyone from denying the validity of a marriage based on the couple’s race or gender.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler supported the bill after the federal right to abortion was struck down when the Supreme Court overturned its landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.
In a concurring opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas said the court should also reconsider its past rulings that guaranteed access to contraception and the right to gay marriage in 2015 because they relied on the same legal arguments as Roe.
The bill is expected to win bipartisan support in the House, according to a Judiciary Committee aide, but faces a difficult road in the Senate, where Republican opponents could block passage.
Republicans in Congress echoed Thomas’ arguments. Republican Sen. Ted Cruz said Saturday that the Supreme Court was “clearly wrong” to establish a federal right to gay marriage.
Democrats have argued that Congress must enshrine gay marriage rights in federal law in case the court reconsiders its past rulings.
“The rights and freedoms we have come to value will disappear in a cloud of radical ideology and questionable legal reasoning,” Nadler said in a statement Monday.
Under the House bill, states would still be able to restrict gay marriage if the Supreme Court reverses its previous ruling. But such states would have to recognize marriages that took place in states where they remain legal.
Democrats hope the bills will contrast with Republicans ahead of the Nov. 8 midterm elections, in which soaring inflation challenges Democrats’ majorities in the House and Senate.