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Katko votes yes, Tenney no on marriage equality bill that passed in the House

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  • Staff Report 

Republican Claudia Tenney was the only member of the New York Congressional delegation who voted against a marriage equality bill that passed the House Tuesday.

Bill would repeal Defense of Marriage Act

The Respect for Marriage Act was passed by a 267-157 vote. It repeals the Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as being between a man and a woman. Every House Democrat voted in favor of the bill. 47 of 211 House Republicans voted for the bill.

Katko has not issued a statement concerning his vote. He has generally voted in favor of pro-LGBTQ bills in the past.

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Tenney calls the bill an effort to score “cheap political points”

In a statement, Tenney said “I support the precedent established by the Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges and believe, like the majority in Dobbs recently upheld, that the issue of marriage is fundamentally different than that of abortion. Today, same-sex couples are guaranteed the right to marry, and I agree with the established jurisprudence that this right should be protected. 

“Despite this fact, House Democrats today tried to score cheap political points. They chose to forego regular order and the established rules of the House to advance the false narrative that the right of same-sex couples to marry is now under threat and that immediate legislative action by Congress is needed to safeguard it. This is simply not true. 

“Democrats deliberately rushed this bill through Congress without any committee hearings, markups, or input from relevant stakeholders to avoid having a real debate. Had we followed the rules and debated this bill openly in committee, Republicans would have made clear that same-sex marriage is already protected in America and not under threat, making this bill completely unnecessary.

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“We would have made clear to the American people that the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence has determined and upheld the right to same-sex marriage. As the majority in Dobbs v. Jackson recently stated, ‘…nothing in this opinion should be understood to cast doubt on precedents that do not concern abortion,’ including the right to same-sex marriage. And, finally, we would have made it very clear that the fear mongering by House Democrats is nothing more than a shamefully partisan stunt designed to distract the American people from the serious crises our nation faces today under their leadership, like rising crime, soaring inflation, and a wide-open Southern Border.”

Nine GOP votes needed for Senate passage

The bill now goes to the Senate. It is sponsored there by Maine Republican Susan Collins. It will need eight Republican votes, in addition to hers, to pass. President Biden has said he will sign the bill if it passes.