United States: House of Representatives passes bill to protect same-sex marriage

The chamber of the House of Representatives

The chamber of the House of Representatives (File image)

Photo : AP

Washington: The US House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a bill to protect same-sex marriage. The bill was passed amid fears that the Supreme Court could roll back recognition o same-sex unions. The bill will provide protection federal protection for same-sex marriage, reported news agency AFP.
The Respect for Marriage Act was passed in the House, where Democrats are in majority, by a vote of 267 to 157. According to the AFP report, 47 Republican lawmakers also voted in favour of the bill.

However, in Senate, it looks difficult to pass the bill as Democrats have 50 seats out 0f 100 and need 10 Republican votes so that the bill could be brought to the floor. The Bill would make sure that US states should recognise a valid marriage performed in another state. This not only includes same-sex unions but also interracial marriages.

Also Read: Thailand a step closer to legalising same-sex marriage; second nation in Asia to do so.
The Bill repealed the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, according to which a marriage is a union between one man and one woman. In 2013, the US Supreme court struck down the part of the Defense of Marriage Act which denied federal benefits to married same-sex couples.

“The bipartisan Respect for Marriage Act will enshrine and protect marriage equality and make sure legal, same-sex and interracial marriages are recognized,” said Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin as quoted by AFP.

Last month, the US Supreme Court overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, which had guaranteed the constitutional protection of abortion rights for women. The decision drew flak from across the country. Protests are being held against the judgment.