Port: Republican Congressman Armstrong says he will vote to codify federal recognition of same-sex marriage – InForum
MINOT, ND — These are strange times, my friends.
A pro-life Democrat is running for the US House for the Democratic NPL of North Dakota (although some party members want to rescind their support for his candidacy). Meanwhile, the incumbent in that race, a conservative Republican, says he will vote to codify same-sex marriage rights into federal law.
After the Supreme Court overturned the previous Roe v. Wade which read a right to abortion in the US Constitution, it was discussed whether another precedent, Obergefell v. Hodges, the one who overturned state bans on same-sex marriage, would also be overthrown.
In his opinion concurring with the Dobbs decision which overturned Roe v. Wade, Justice Clarence Thomas argued that reasoning similar to that used in Roe was also used in same-sex marriage decisions and therefore they should also be cancelled.
This prompted Democrats to introduce legislation that would recognize same-sex marriage in federal law. It’s called the Respect for Marriage Act, and it would override the Defense of Marriage Act while federally recognizing same-sex and interracial marriages.
A vote on that bill is expected to take place today, and Congressman Kelly Armstrong, a Republican and North Dakota’s only member in the U.S. House, says he supports it.
“The Full Faith and Credit Clause of the US Constitution ensures that legal proceedings conducted in one state are recognized by other states,” he told me this afternoon. “HR 8404 makes it clear that a marriage performed in one state will be recognized in another, regardless of the couple’s gender, race, ethnicity, or national origin. This bill assures Americans that their marital status will not change based on their zip code.This is common sense and consistent with multiple Supreme Court rulings.
“Importantly, nothing in this legislation compels religious institutions or private businesses to perform marriages, protecting Americans’ religious freedoms and First Amendment rights,” he continued.
The bill is short and simple, by federal standards.
In addition to repealing DOMA, in just four pages, it also recognizes any marriage that was legal in the state in which it took place.
It also “prohibits anyone acting under the guise of state law from denying full faith and credit of an out-of-state marriage because of sex, race, ethnicity, or national origin of the persons in the marriage,” according to a House press release. Judiciary Committee.
Currently, the legal precedent set in Obergefell v. Hodges, who found a fundamental right to marry in the 14th Amendment, still stands. But if the courts were to strike it down, the law would amount to de facto legalization even in states that ban abortion.
North Dakota still has a ban on same-sex marriage in the state constitution, dating back to a 2004 ballot measure that was widely passed. This ban was being challenged in court when the Obergefell decision was handed down, rendering them moot.
Presumably, North Dakota’s ban would be back in place if Obergefell were overturned, but the Respecting Marriage Act, if it becomes law, would require the state to respect marriages performed in other states, even if ‘they could not legally be celebrated here.