Congressman Chip Roy (R-TX) has filed a religious liberty amendment that poses a threat to the Respect for Marriage Act, which the U.S. House of Representatives is rushing to approve before Republicans take control of the chamber in 2021. Republicans’ newest attempt to disregard and undercut the rights of LGBT couples who want to be married is this one.
Congressman Roy’s actions, according to U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), were an attempt to “derail passage of a simple bill that would ensure that same-sex marriages are respected even if [the Supreme Court] ever reverses Obergefell v Hodges, which made them legal nationwide in 2015,” and he was correct in his criticism of Congressman Roy. Notwithstanding this historic ruling by America’s highest court, Republican politicians have unfortunately continued to attack LGBT marriage rights, as 35 states still have legislation outlawing same-sex marriages or classifying them as subpar types of civil unions or domestic partnerships.
The fact that Congressman Roy and other Republicans had to receive criticism from House Rules Committee Chairman James McGovern (D-MA) for their inaction on this pressing issue is telling. Should the Supreme Court reverse its decision in Obergefell, the Respect for Marriage Act would offer crucial safeguards for same-sex married couples. Despite this, Republicans continue to work against progress and oppose equal rights for LGBT people at every opportunity.
Although portraying themselves as defenders of individual freedom and traditional values, the Republican party maintains its tendency of ignoring the needs of LGBT people and violating their fundamental human rights. If there is to be any meaningful change in our culture today, such hypocrisy needs to be exposed. We can only hope that President Joseph Biden’s words soon turn into deeds as he has stated that his government will be committed to achieving complete equality and protection for all people regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.