This GOP strategist is calling on Republican senators to safeguard same-sex marriage

Many are concerned that the Supreme Court’s decision has been overturned. Roe vs. Wade And the right to abortion can jeopardize other rights like same-sex marriage.

Jose Luis Magana / AP


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Jose Luis Magana / AP

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Many are concerned that the Supreme Court’s decision has been overturned. Roe vs. Wade And the right to abortion can jeopardize other rights like same-sex marriage.

Jose Luis Magana / AP

After the overthrow of the Supreme Court Roe vs. WadeThe landmark decision raised fears that same-sex marriage could be the next right to collapse.

Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in his concurrence on the abortion ruling that the court should also reconsider the 2015 ruling that legalized same-sex marriage. Now, Democrats and some Republicans in Congress are working on a bill to codify marriage equality into law.

GOP strategist John Fehery is working to garner support for the bill among Senate Republicans and says protecting same-sex marriage is not only a good political move, but a step toward his party’s future.

“I think ultimately you don’t want people to have the ability to get married when you give them that ability,” Fehery told NPR. “Most Republicans” [voters] We are focusing on many other issues and will not vote against any Republicans who voted for this bill.”

After facing backlash over the reversal of Roe vs. Wade, some Republicans in swing states and swing districts are trying to find ways to appeal to constituents who may feel dismayed by the decision. “For a lot of these senators, it takes a bit of an edge,” Feiheri pointed out. Washington Post Adding politically, the policy option is a “no-brainer” when it comes to supporting the same-sex marriage bill.

The Respect for Marriage Act, which was introduced in July, was set to repeal and replace provisions that clearly define marriage between a man and a woman. The law would require all states to recognize same-sex marriage at the federal level, and it recently passed the House with the support of 47 Republicans.

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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer speaks during a news conference on Sept. 7 after a policy luncheon with Senate Democrats. The Respect for Marriage Act was one of the focuses of his meeting.

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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer speaks during a news conference on Sept. 7 after a policy luncheon with Senate Democrats. The Respect for Marriage Act was one of the focuses of his meeting.

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Now, with a Senate vote to come, doubts are being raised about whether the 10 Republicans needed to support the bill will come forward to push it. Feiheri is confident that if the right circumstances encourage it, there are more than enough Republicans willing to support it.

“I think there are more than 10. But I don’t think anyone wants to be 10th,” Feiheri said. “So they’re waiting to see and then negotiating possible modifications to see if they have some wiggle room.”

In July, President Biden’s press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, told reporters that Biden was a strong supporter of protecting marriage equality.

“He believes it is non-negotiable and the Senate should act swiftly to get it on the president’s table. He wants to sign it,” said Jean-Pierre.

A 2021 Gallup poll found that more than 55% of registered Republicans support same-sex marriage, Fehery said, adding that some are still staunchly opposed.

“There is a vocal minority among the Republican base that doesn’t want this to happen,” Fehery said. For some senators, Fehery said, weighing the will of their constituents against their own personal beliefs was proving to be a difficult balancing act, while others were concerned about whether the bill explicitly recognized same-sex marriage. Allows religious relaxation within.

“I think there are some legitimate concerns here that a church will be prosecuted if they refuse to have gay marriage in their church,” Fehery said. “I wonder if there is an accommodation that protects the ability of churches to practice their religion freely but also allows people to engage in legally binding contracts that are recognized in all 50 states. So, you know, we can find that way to get both ends.”

Advocacy groups such as the Human Rights Campaign have mobilized thousands of their supporters and more than 170 businesses to voice their support for the bill.

In a letter directed to the Senate and signed by business leaders at companies such as Amazon, Airbnb, Nike, Microsoft and others, they argue that ensuring same-sex marriage protections can keep their employees happy.

“A patchwork of inconsistent and discriminatory state marriage laws goes against our company values ​​and makes it difficult for us to do business and recruit and retain top talent,” the letter reads.

This widespread support, in addition to a demanding political landscape, is an important indicator for Fehrie that many Republican constituents are not as concerned about the issue as people might think.

“It’s not one of the top issues out there. I don’t think it will be a major political victory for Joe Biden,” Fehery said. “I don’t think it’s going to change the trajectory of this election, but I think it might be the right thing to do eventually.”

Radio Interview with Jon Fehry was produced by Karen Zamora and edited by Christopher Intagliata.

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