U.S. House expected to pass same-sex marriage bill, showing shift in attitudes
Story by By Moira Warburton, Julia Harte and Joseph Ax • 3h ago
FILE PHOTO: Supporters of gay marriage wave the rainbow flag after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the U.S. Constitution provides same-sex couples the right to marry© Thomson Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A bill protecting federal recognition of same-sex marriages that has the support of both LGBT advocates and religious groups is expected to pass the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday with bipartisan support, a sign of a significant cultural shift in a divided nation.
The Respect for Marriage Act, which passed the U.S. Senate last week, was designed as a backstop to the 2015 Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide, known as Obergefell v. Hodges.
The legislation would allow the federal government to continue recognizing same-sex and interracial marriages in states where they were legally performed, should the court strike down Obergefell, a concern raised after the court ended the nationwide right to abortion in June.
A bipartisan amendment added in November affirmed that the bill would not subvert existing religious freedoms, helping quell initial opposition by conservatives. The bill, which was spearheaded by a group of Democratic and Republican senators, gained the backing of several national religious groups.
FILE PHOTO: A view of the U.S. Capitol building as the sunrises in Washington© Thomson Reuters
Paul Brandeis Raushenbush, an American Baptist reverend and president of Interfaith Alliance, said the support for the bill from religious groups showed that many had undergone a “remarkable transformation” in the way they perceive same-sex marriage.