GOP Members Sign Letter In Support Of Law To Codify Gay Marriage

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Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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More than 400 Republican leaders signed a letter Tuesday urging the Senate to enshrine same-sex marriage in federal law.

The current and former Republican leaders released a public petition in support of the Respect for Marriage Act, a bill that would codify the right to same-sex marriage recognized by the 2015 Supreme Court decision Obergefell v. Hodges. The legislation passed the House in July with the support of 47 Republicans.

“As Republicans and conservatives, we believe strong families and lasting relationships strengthen communities, and civil marriage is a fundamental freedom central to individual liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We stand with the 71 percent of Americans today, including a majority of registered Republicans, who support the freedom to marry for all Americans,” the letter declared.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, Pennsylvania Senate candidate Mehmet Oz and Colorado Senate candidate Joe O’Dea were among those who signed the letter, the Washington Post reported.

The letter said passing the bill would “remove any uncertainty” for same-sex couples seeking to build families and care for the ones they love.

A May 2021 Gallup poll found that 70% of Americans believed same-sex marriage should be legally recognized. Fifty-five percent of Republicans said the same. (RELATED: Senate To Vote On Bill Protecting Gay Marriage At The Federal Level) 

Republican Maine Sen. Susan Collins joined Democratic Sens. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Dianne Feinstein of California in introducing companion legislation that would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a law signed by former President Bill Clinton to define marriage at the federal level as a union between one man and one woman.

“Maine voters legalized same-sex marriages in our state nearly a decade ago, and since Obergefell, all Americans have had the right to marry the person whom they love,” Collins previously said about the legislation. “During my time in the Senate, I have been proud to support legislation prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, from strengthening hate crime prevention laws, to repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ to ensuring workplace equality. This bill is another step to promote equality, prevent discrimination, and protect the rights of all Americans.”

Lawmakers crafted the legislation after Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas argued in a concurring opinion to Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which struck down the constitutional right to an abortion, that the court should review all of its “substantive due process precedents,” including Obergefell and other decisions that struck down bans on contraception and homosexual relations. In the majority opinion, however, Justice Samuel Alito wrote that the fall of Roe v. Wade will not affect the precedents Thomas called into question.