Democrats in the House and Senate are looking to ensure same-sex marriage rights are codified into federal law after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade in June, leaving other similarly-based decisions in jeopardy as Justice Clarence Thomas signaled he wants them rescinded as well.
"We’re hearing that Democratic congressional leaders are considering attaching a provision codifying same sex marriage protections onto a must-pass spending bill to keep the federal government open past Sept. 30," Punchbowl News reports Tuesday morning.
But U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), who says she supports same-sex marriage and the current legislation, is already accusing Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of playing politics.
“My impression is that the majority leader is eager to put this bill on the floor in September, and I hope that he will,” Collins said in an interview with Politico. “In an election year, I hope this can be a sincere effort by the majority leader, and that he will resist the urge to play politics with the bill. But we are dealing with Sen. Schumer, so.”
Democrats are anxious to protect marriage equality, at least existing same-sex marriages, as Justice Thomas has set his sights on that constitutional right and others.
“In future cases, we should reconsider all of this court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell,” Thomas wrote in his concurring opinion in the Dobbs case that voided a nearly-50-year decision constitutionally protecting a woman's right to choose. The far right jurist was referring to cases protecting contraception, intimate relations, and same-sex marriage.
In July Speaker Pelosi's House of Representatives passed a bill that protects existing same-sex marriages, requiring all jurisdictions including federal and state governments to recognize those unions, while not protecting future same-sex marriages. The legislation passed with some GOP support.
In the Senate there are a handful of Republican votes on a similar measure but 60 votes are needed to overcome the filibuster, as Vox explains.