The House sent the Respect Marriage Act to President Biden’s desk after all Democrats and 39 Republicans in the body voted in favor of the bill.
The legislation, which passed in a vote of 258-169-1, would officially repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and require states to recognize same-sex and interracial marriages legally performed in other states.
The House initially approved the bill in July before it was passed by the Senate last week along with amendments to add protections for religious exemptions and to clarify that it does not recognize polygamy. The House then needed to pass the bill as amended, which it did on Thursday.
The bill received some bipartisan support in both houses of Congress, but several House Republicans voted in favor of the bill in July before opposing it on the second ballot, while a couple originally opposed it before voting. in favor.
Here are the 10 House Republicans who flipped their votes on the same-sex marriage bill:
“yes” to “no”
Rep. Cliff Bentz (Oregon) originally voted in favor of the bill in July before turning to a “no” vote on Thursday. He has not publicly explained his reason for changing his vote.
Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (Fla.) also went from voting in favor of the bill to voting against it. He said in a statement Monday that he planned to oppose the legislation because it lacked “legitimate safeguards” for religious organizations that oppose the law based on their religious beliefs.
“The concept of all states respecting other states’ decisions on marriage laws is deeply embedded in American case law and tradition,” he said. “Similarly, our Founders understood that religious liberties are sacred and vulnerable, and must always be vigorously protected.”
Rep. Brian Mast (Fla.) also took issue with the latest version of the bill over concerns about protecting religious freedom. Theon the House floor before the vote that changes must be made to the text to protect the “free exercise thereof,” referring to a clause in the First Amendment to the Constitution that protects freedom of religion.
He also criticized comments by Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Pa.), who said further amending the bill would “disrupt the Senate’s carefully crafted compromise.”
Representative Dan Meuser (Pennsylvania) said in aon Twitter that the bill “goes beyond marriage” and weakens religious freedoms “fundamental to our nation,” and that he voted against it Thursday for that reason. He said the Senate version of the bill includes language that endangers religious freedom and opens organizations up to civil lawsuits, unlike the House version.
“Therefore, I cannot support the Senate Amendment to the Respect Marriage Act because it jeopardizes the basic religious liberties of all Americans,” he said.
Rep. Scott Perry (Pa.) indicated that his initial vote for the bill was a mistake due to lack of time to review it. Axios reported that Perry said the bill was introduced quickly and that he had just arrived in the room while the vote was taking place.
“I knew I had to choose between voting against traditional marriage or voting against interracial marriage,” she said.
“I just made the wrong decision,” he added.
Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar (Fla.) said in a statement after the vote that she was disappointed that the final version of the bill did not include “full protection” for churches and Americans with “sincere religious beliefs.”
She said Senate Republicans were prevented from including “vital protections” for religious Americans in the bill. She said she voted for the first version because she believes in “human dignity” and respect for all, but laws that advance one interest and ignore legal protections for others should not be passed.
Jeff Van Drew
Rep. Jeff Van Drew (NJ) initially voted in favor of the bill, but also cited concerns about religious freedom protections. He told Axios that he “absolutely” heard from many voters who were upset with the bill and found them persuasive.
“no” to “yes”
Rep. Mike Gallagher (Wisconsin) was one of two Republicans who initially voted against the bill before later endorsing it.
He told The Hill in a statement that a religious liberty amendment and a clarification that the bill does not allow polygamy that the Senate added led him to vote for the bill a second time.
“The Law of Respect for Marriage corrects the gap of polygamy in the [Nancy] Pelosi’s hastily written version and creates strong religious liberty protections for religious organizations, including schools, churches and adoption agencies,” he said.
Jaime Herrera Beutler
Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (Washington) also moved from opposing the bill in July to supporting it on Thursday, but has not publicly shared her reasoning. She will leave Congress at the end of her term next month.
“Yes” to “present”
Rep. Burgess Owens (Utah) initially voted in favor of the bill, but was the only House member to vote “present” on Thursday.
“While today is certainly a giant step toward religious liberty, my only ‘present’ vote signals a beacon that the war is far from won,” he said..
He said religious freedom cannot prevail unless individuals and small business owners have explicit protection under the law. He added that protecting churches and religious organizations is only “skimming the surface” of the scope of First Amendment rights.