Amid Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas' controversial concurring opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson, Congress is preparing to vote on legislation that would preserve same-sex marriage rights.
The proposed Respect for Marriage Act comes in response to Thomas floating the possibility that past opinions relating to same-sex marriage and access to contraceptives could be affected by the high court overruling the near-50-year Roe v. Wade precedent.
According to a Monday press release from House Judiciary Committee Chair Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., the bill would formally repeal the previous Defense of Marriage Act and require federal recognition for same-sex and interracial marriages.
"As this Court may take aim at other fundamental rights, we cannot sit idly by as the hard-earned gains of the Equality movement are systematically eroded," Nadler wrote in a statement.
"If Justice Thomas's concurrence teaches anything it's that we cannot let your guard down or the rights and freedoms that we have come to cherish will vanish into a cloud of radical ideology and dubious legal reasoning."
The bill features several notable supporters, including Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., as well as Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine; Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.; and Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis.
The House last week passed a similar bill that seeks to codify Roe abortion rights nationwide. Given the Democrats' slim Senate majority, it is unlikely to pass the upper chamber. However, the Respect for Marriage Act could find better success.
The news also comes two days after Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said on his "Verdict" podcast that the Obergefell v. Hodges ruling that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide "was clearly wrong when it was decided."
"Obergefell, like Roe v. Wade, ignored two centuries of our nation's history," Cruz argued. "Marriage was always an issue that was left to the states. We saw states before Obergefell — some states were moving to allow gay marriage. Other states were moving to allow civil partnerships. There were different standards that the states were adopting."
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