Thinker's Chronicle

Respect for Marriage Act

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Someone once said “history repeats itself,” and today, as we celebrate the last few remaining months of 2022, Justice Clarence Thomas has called into reconsideration a case from history. Obergefell v Hodges was the 2015 decision that established a constitutional right to same-sex marriages in the United States. The roots of this decision digs deeper, questioning the historically perceived meaning of marriage––“a conjugal bond”––that is a union between a man and a woman and the act of procreation that is connected with it. However, as we all move a step ahead, we need to start embracing the widening horizons of love. 

Unalienable Rights For All

This act was first introduced in 2009 and was re-introduced on the 18th of July with a small addendum. It not only mandates licensing same-sex marriages but also inter-racial marriages, re-instating the 1967 ruling in Loving v Virginia. This bill, titled the “Respect for Marriage act”, may become a law after it unexpectedly passed the House with bipartisan support, raising the possibility of the Senate passing it as well.

On July 18th, RFMA passed the House with 65% support. Even though it still inadequately reflected the 71% of Americans (the highest percentage ever recorded according to a Gallup poll) that support legalization of same-sex marriage, it was enough to move the bill ahead. 

What is the Idea of Marriage?

Articles like “Perspective: The tables can still be turned on the marriage debate” counter suggesting how the rulings of Obergefel v Hodges and RFMA reduce marriage to a form of “sexual-romantic companionship” and “utterly dissolves the intrinsic connection of marriage to procreation.” They further question how the revised idea of “marriage” has therefore also no reason to be “consummated, sexually exclusive and pledged to permanence.”

These ideas are counter argued by people who say barring two people from marrying, denying them the right to love, solely because they are of the same sex, violates the Constitution and hence, this should not be treated as a partisan issue. Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin is the first openly LGBTQ+ person elected to the Senate and in a statement shared with PEOPLE in late July, she said, “We cannot allow this freedom and right to be denied.” 

By: Aarya Munot