Five Thoughts About The Respect for Marriage Act
Today the Respect for Marriage Act passed the House by an unexpectedly large margin. And there is movement afoot to see if the bill will garner ten Republican votes to break a Senate filibuster. Ilya addressed the bill here. I’d like to add five more thoughts.
First, one of the most effective, and pervasive criticism of Dobbs is that Obergefell is next. If this bill passes, that argument largely goes away. Granted, the bill does not actually require a state to issue a gay marriage license–only that a state must recognize a gay marriage performed out of state. As a result, gay couples might have to obtain licenses from other states. But that burden is minimal. Indeed, it would be fairly simple to apply for a marriage license out of state, and the ceremony can be performed over Zoom.
Second, the fact that this bill passed the House by such a wide margin illustrates why the Obergefell-is-next argument never worked: there is no national movement to reverse gay marriage. Unlike Roe and Casey, Obergefell was largely accepted without a backlash. Now, there is more than 70% support for gay marriage. There is no march on Washington to reverse Obergefell, like there has been for abortion. Justice Alito was correct in saying this issue has been settled. Obergefell has proven workable in every regard. On the plus side for conservatives, enacting this bill would undermine the non-stop attacks on Dobbs. I’m sure leader McConnell recognizes this fact: passing this bill reduces the need for Court “reofrm.”
Third, so far I’ve presumed that Section 3 of the bill is constitutional. Is it? The bill provides, in part:
Article from Reason.com