Jul 26, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Well-known Republicans bolster same-sex marriage bill

Lawyer Ted Olson (C) talks to reporters with New York State Attorney General Letitia James (2nd R) and former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano (R).
Lawyer Ted Olson talks to reporters outside the U.S. Supreme Court after arguing in a case about the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals program on Nov. 12, 2019. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Ted Olson, who was solicitor general under President George W. Bush, and former Republican National Committee chair Ken Mehlman made the case in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece for codifying same-sex marriage.

Driving the news: "The Respect for Marriage Act has already been approved by a strong bipartisan majority in the House, and it should now be promptly passed by the Senate and sent to the president," they write in the opinion piece, titled "Congress Should Codify Same-Sex Marriage."

  • "It is incumbent on Congress," they add, "to reaffirm that civil same-sex marriage is settled law and remove any uncertainty that gay and lesbian families could see their marriages delegitimized.
  • "The Senate must ensure that all Americans are treated fairly and equally under the law."

The big picture: Almost 50 House Republicans joined Democrats last week to pass legislation that would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and codify the right to interracial marriage.

  • Support among Republican senators is slowly building for the House-passed bill and senators are predicting it will eventually get the votes it needs to pass, Axios' Andrew Solender and Shawna Chen report.

Catch up quick: The legislation is part of Democrats' response to the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade last month and conservative Justice Clarence Thomas' signaling that rulings on marriage equality, LGBTQ+ rights and contraception could also be reconsidered.

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