WASHINGTON, D.C. (WHNT) — On Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to codify marriage equality into law – but almost all of Alabama’s congressional delegation voted against the measure.
According to clerk.house.gov, all six of Alabama’s Republican congress members voted against the bill, leaving only Democrat Terri Sewell voting in favor.
“As the Supreme Court comes after our hard fought personal liberties, we in Congress must act,” Sewell stated on Twitter. “Today, I voted for the Respect for Marriage Act to enshrine marriage equality into law and ensure same-sex and interracial marriages will continue to be recognized. We will not go back!”
In a statement issued on Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt called the bill, “100% pure politics.”
“Speaker Pelosi and the far-left want nothing more than to further inflame political tensions between Americans,” Aderholt said. “While I remain steadfast in my longstanding belief that marriage is between a man and a woman, this bill seeks to distract us from working together to address substantive issues like supply chain concerns, inflation, and gas prices.”
One House Republican, South Carolina Rep. Nancy Mace voted yes, stating, “If gay couples want to be as happily or miserably married as straight couples, more power to them.”
The bill comes after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, a move that caused concerns around other social issues approved by Supreme Court decisions, like same-sex marriage and access to contraception.
AP reported the Respect for Marriage Act repeals a law from the Clinton Administration that defined marriage as being between one man and one woman. It would also provide legal protections for interracial couples, prohibiting any state from denying out-of-state marriage licenses or benefits on the basis of sex, race, ethnicity, or national origin.
The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), passed in 1996, was mostly overruled by the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision that established same-sex marriage rights nationwide. At the time DOMA was passed, just 27% of Americans supported same-sex marriage. According to a June 2022 Gallup poll, that number now stands at 71%.
Despite that number, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in a concurring opinion to the overturn of Roe that cases like Obergefell should be revisited.
While the Respect for Marriage Act passed the House with ease, it is expected to stall in the 50-50 Senate.