House Debates Gay Marriage and Contraception Access

Good morning. I watched the House Rules Committee meeting last night so you don’t have to. (You’re missing out, though. There’s nothing like it in the world.)

House to Consider Bill Protecting Gay Marriage

The House is expected to approve a bill protecting gay marriages across the country today, a response to the Supreme Court’s recent Dobbs decision regarding abortion.

While Republicans argue it is unlikely that any group will make a concerted effort to overturn Obergefell v. Hodges—the 2015 decision that made gay marriage legal nationwide—Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas pointed out in his concurring Dobbs opinion that the rationale that returned abortion policy decisions to the states could extend to other cases, including Obergefell. Democrats are moving to respond while they still hold both chambers of Congress. It’s not clear whether the bill will ultimately win enough support in the Senate to overcome a filibuster. Democrats would need backing from at least 10 Republicans to pass it there.

During a Rules Committee meeting Monday night, GOP lawmakers continued to question the likelihood of a decision overturning Obergefell, with Texas GOP Rep. Chip Roy quipping that the position is not popular. He raised procedural complaints, questioning why the bill hadn’t come up in a committee hearing where members could debate and amend it before Democrats brought it to the floor for a vote. He also noted that Democratic leaders had released it on short notice. The legislation, he said, raises questions about the role of the federal government. During the hearing, Roy avoided confronting the substance of the debate over gay marriage. But afterward, he made his position more clear via Twitter: He opposes same-sex marriage. (Asked on Tuesday morning if Roy would support any kind of national legal protections for existing gay marriages, his office did not answer directly but said Roy will release a comment on the vote later today.)

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