Republican Rep. Glenn Thompson of Pennsylvania attended his gay son’s wedding just three days after voting against legislation that would codify federal protections for same-sex marriages.
Thompson’s son spoke to NBC news on Monday, stating that he “married the love of [his] life” on Friday and that his “father was there”.
Thompson’s representative, press secretary, Maddison Stone, also confirmed the Congressman was in attendance. NBC News did not publish the name of either groom.
Republicans Vote Against Gay Marriages
Thompson represents the state’s 15th congressional district and was one of 157 House Republicans who voted against the bill on Tuesday. The Respect for Marriage Act, which Thompson voted against, would codify federal protections for same-sex couples.
The Supreme Court upheld the same-sex marriages as a right guaranteed under the 14th Amendment in its 2015 ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges. However, following the judgement overturning abortion rights, there are fears that the Supreme Court could scrap gay marriages.
Forty-seven of Thompson’s GOP colleagues joined Democrats to pass the bipartisan measure in response to fears that existing protections for same-sex marriage could be outlawed in some states after the landmark Roe v Wade decision that affirmed he federal right for individuals to have an abortion was overturned.
If Obergefell is overturned, same-sex marriages would become illegal in at least 25 states, and would most likely become illegal in another seven states, according to an analysis by the National Conference of State Legislatures
US House of Representatives Vote For Protecting Gay Marriages
The new bill requires the U.S. federal government to recognize the validity of same-sex marriages in the United States and includes revisions including protections for interracial marriages. The bill includes safeguards for interracial marriages, which was legalised in a 1967 case, Loving v. Virginia, and prohibits any state from denying out-of-state marriage licenses and benefits based on sex, race, ethnicity or national origin.\
The codifying of this legislation would be a win for LGBTQI people and affirm the right for same-sex marriage. This bill comes at a time where the far-right movement at a local and federal level have amplified attacks towards marginalised groups, especially towards the queer community.
These attacks include Florida’s “don’t say gay” law which prevented teachers from discussing sexuality and gender identity in the classroom, Texas attempting to ban family-friendly drag shows and other state governments drafting legislation to attack trans athletes, gender-affirming care and parents of queer youth. The rhetoric around sexuality and identity has stoked fears for more conservative laws which undermines the rights for the LGBTQI+ community.
In 1996, only 27% of Americans thought same-sex marriages should be legal, compared to 71% of Americans today according to a Gallup poll from last month.
The House of Representatives passed the Respect for Marriage Act, 267-157, on July 19 and the bill now falls before the Senate. 60 votes are required in the Senate to advance the legislation.