Nebraska’s 3-member Republican U-S House delegation was split yesterday when the House passed a bipartisan bill legalizing same-sex marriage.
Backers introduced the Respect for Marriage Act out of fear the legal arguments cited by the U-S Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v Wade could also be used to overturn earlier high court approval of same-sex marriage.
The vote was 267-157 with 47 Republicans joining the majority Democrats in passing it. One of the 47 was 2nd District Congressman Don Bacon.
Bacon said afterward that“as a person of faith” he believes in the traditional definition of marriage, but doesn’t believe “the government should dictate who can marry each other based on gender, race, or ethnicity.”
Bacon pointed out that many thousands of same-sex marriages have been performed in the 7 years since the Supreme Court ruling – adding that “Americans should have the right to their private lives.”
Voting against the bill were the 3rd District’s Adrian Smith of Gering and the 1st-District’s Mike Flood of Norfolk, who took office just last week.
Flood called it a “political ploy” that was rushed to the floor, bypassing the normal committee process.
Flood called it “cruel, hateful fear-mongering,” adding that the Supreme Court made it clear after the Roe v Wade ruling that nobody’s marriage was under threat.
It’s not clear if the bill can pass the Senate, where at least 10 Republicans would need to approve it to overcome the filibuster’s 60-vote threshold.
Nebraska Democratic Party Chair Jane Kleeb blasted Smith and Flood, saying that “once again, they voted to strip Nebraskans of their rights (and) instead of representing Nebraska families, Flood and Smith represent the cruel wing of the Republican Party.”