POLITICS

All four Utah reps voted for marriage equality bill, senators’ votes unknown

Jul 20, 2022, 7:16 PM | Updated: Jul 26, 2022, 2:51 pm
A West High School employee holds a Pride flag and an updated Pride flag that includes colors for t...
A West High School employee holds a Pride flag and an updated Pride flag that includes colors for the trans community and people of color, during a protest against Utah Legislature's passage of HB11, which bans transgender girls from participating in female school sports, in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, April 6, 2022. (Laura Seitz / Deseret News)
(Laura Seitz / Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — On Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Respect for Marriage Act, with all four of Utah’s Republican representatives voting in favor of the bill.

Reps. John Curtis, Blake Moore, Burgess Owens and Chris Stewart voted with 43 other GOP House members in a bipartisan 267-157 vote to pass the act.

House passes same-sex marriage bill in retort to high court

After the vote, Curtis said in a statement that he believes the Supreme Court has no intention of reversing the right to marriage presented in the Constitution.

“That said, I also understand how important codifying these protections are to many Utahns. I do not believe the federal government should infringe upon an individual’s decision about who they wish to marry,” he said in the statement.

None of Utah’s other congressmen gave a statement or posted on social media about the act’s passing.

Utah LGBTQ+ advocates praised all the representatives for their votes and called on Utah’s two senators to follow suit.

Sen. Mitt Romney spoke media about his Great Salt Lake Recovery Act, and during the interview, KSL.com asked him about his possible vote on the Respect for Marriage Act as it makes its way to the Senate.

“(In) my own view, we know that same-sex marriage is the law today given the Supreme Court’s decision. I don’t see any challenge to that coming down the pipe,” Romney said.

He said the court has not taken any cases that could challenge the need for legislation, but “if it does reach my desk, I will consider it thoroughly.”

LGBTQ+ community concerned Supreme Court could revisit same-sex marriage

After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on June 24, Justice Clarence Thomas released an opinion suggesting the Court could reconsider past rulings, like same-sex marriage and contraception. 

Because of this opinion, many local couples were worried about their marriages remaining legal as a trigger law is already in effect for Utah if Obergefell v. Hodges is overturned.

The Respect for Marriage Act would guarantee marriage rights for same-sex and interracial couples under federal law if passed.

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All four Utah reps voted for marriage equality bill, senators’ votes unknown