Pelosi rejoices over Respect for Marriage Act victory, calls it a tool to fight ‘right-wing extremists’
Outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that the Respect for Marriage Act will be used to ‘combat bigoted extremism’ and ‘right-wing extremists’ now that it has been approved by Congress.
The bill, which will require the federal government and states to recognize same-sex marriages performed in states where they are legal, passed the House with help from 39 Republicans, after the Senate passed it 61-36 last week.
‘Since the Supreme Court’s monstrous decision overturning Roe v. Wade, right wing forces have set their sights on this basic personal freedom,’ Pelosi, D-Calif., said Thursday from the House floor.
‘Once signed into law, the Respect the Marriage Act will help prevent right-wing extremists from offending the lives of loving couples, traumatizing kids across the country, and turning back the clock on hard-fought progress,’ the speaker added.
Pelosi’s Senate counterpart, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., also celebrated the bill’s final passage.
‘This is about millions of LBGTQ Americans in the country, but countless other lives of… children and families will also be impacted as well,’ Schumer said. ‘This legislation is a chance to send a message to Americans everywhere: No matter who you are, who you love, you too deserve dignity and equal treatment under the law.’
‘That’s about as an American ideal as it gets,’ he added.
Sens. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., and former Democrat representative from Massachusetts Barney Frank were also in attendance at the bill signing ceremony.
Opponents of the bill have said that, even with an amendment to include religious liberty protections, it would still leave people of faith vulnerable to litigation and other problematic outcomes.
‘After the House last considered this bill in July, the Senate was forced to make significant changes to the bill. Unfortunately, those changes do not go far enough in protecting religious liberty,’ Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said on the House floor Thursday.
‘For example, the Senate amendment does not protect the right a private entity that is determined to be a state actor as a result of the services they provide on behalf of a government,’ Jordan said, indicating a fear that organizations like a religious adoption service might now be pressed to accept other states’ marriage standards without warning.
‘These entities could be adoption agencies, shelters or other service providers, operated by a religious organization under contract with a city or state. Across the country, people of faith serve their neighbors and their communities through these charitable efforts. But this bill could force them to abandon their faith or abandon the service,’ Jordan said.