Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn of Texas vote to block bill codifying same-sex marriage

The Defense of Marriage Act was advanced in the Senate on Wednesday with the support of 12 Republicans.

click to enlarge U.S. Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz both voted against codifying marriage equality. - Wikimedia Commons / Gage Skidmore
Wikimedia Commons / Gage Skidmore
U.S. Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz both voted against codifying marriage equality.
Both of Texas' Republican senators voted against advancing legislation that would add protections for same-sex marriage amid fears the conservative-dominated Supreme Court could overturn the 2015 ruling that legalized those unions.

During a Wednesday vote, 12 Republican senators joined Democrats to pass the measure on a 62-37 vote, establishing a filibuster-proof majority. U.S. Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, both of Texas, voted against it, as did Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The Democrat-led U.S. House passed a version of the Respect for Marriage Act in a bipartisan vote this summer, and President Joe Biden is expected to sign the proposal once it passes a final Senate vote.

Weeks ago, Cruz announced he would reject the bill, inexplicably claiming during his podcast The Verdict that it would "weaponize" the Biden White House to strip tax-exempt status from religious groups.

On Tuedsay, Cornyn justified his vote by telling reporters same-sex marriage is "already a Constitutional right."

Democrats introduced the Respect for Marriage Act after the high court struck down Roe v. Wade, a nearly 50-year-old ruling that legalized abortion. Afterward, Justice Clarence Thomas suggested the justices also could reverse other rights previously granted by the court, among them marriage equality.

The vote comes days after voters dealt Republicans a humiliating election defeat, rejecting the party's continued swing to extremism. A new high of 71% U.S. adults said same-sex marriage should be recognized under law, according to a Gallup poll conducted in May.

“The importance of this vote cannot be overstated — it is in some part proactive defensive legislation of the conservative majority of the Supreme Court’s clear threats against marriage for same-sex couples," National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund Executive Director Kierra Johnson said in an emailed statement.

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