On Thursday, the U.S. House gave final approval to the Respect for Marriage Act. The legislation to protect same-sex and interracial marriages is a historic step toward ensuring that such unions are enshrined in federal law. President Joe Biden is expected to sign it soon.
Polling shows time and again that a majority of Americans support same-sex marriage, and even stronger majorities support interracial marriage, which helps explain why 39 Republicans in the House joined Democrats in passing the act 268-169. The House vote comes on the heels of the U.S. Senate passing the act 61-36.
The legislation does not require states to allow same-sex couples to marry. But it does require states to recognize all marriages that were legal where they were performed and protects current same-sex marriages not matter whether the current Supreme Court erodes protections established by its earlier decisions.
While the vote was described as bipartisan, that does not mean that all of Florida’s federal lawmakers were on the right side of history. Too many of them found any number of weak excuses to vote against what most Americans believe should be a fundamental right.
Here’s how the Florida delegation voted:
Democrats: Kathy Castor, Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick, Val Demings, Lois Frankel, Al Lawson Jr., Stephanie Murphy, Darren Soto, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Frederica Wilson
Republicans: Kat Cammack, Carlos Gimenez, Michael Waltz.
Republicans: Gus Bilirakis, Vern Buchanan, Mario Diaz-Balart, Byron Donalds, Neal Dunn, Scott Franklin, Matt Gaetz, Brian Mast, Bill Posey, John Rutherford, Maria Elvira Salazar, W. Gregory Steube, Daniel Webster
U.S. Senate: Republican Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott both voted no.