Around 60 percent of registered voters agree that Congress should pass federal legislation that would enshrine marriage equality into law, according to a new poll released Monday.
The Politico and Morning Consult poll showed that 58 percent of registered voters agreed that federal law is necessary to protect marriage for queer couples. That support is highest with Democrats at 75 percent, and with Independents at 62 percent, while 36 percent of Republicans agreed. Over half of Republicans (51 percent) rejected to Congress passing such a law.
The poll sampled 2,000 voters between July 22-24.
Earlier this month, members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives introduced the Respect for Marriage Act, which would write equal marriage rights into law.
The move comes just weeks after Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas said the court should reconsider Obergefell v. Hodges, the 2015 ruling that established marriage equality nationwide. For the high court to do so, a case would have to come up to it from lower courts but bringing such a case is definitely a goal of anti-LGBTQ+ forces.
The legislation would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, passed in 1996. DOMA barred the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages — so therefore these spouses could not file taxes jointly, receive Social Security survivors’ benefits, or access any number of other federal benefits. It also allowed any state to deny recognition to same-sex marriages from other states. A 2013 Supreme Court decision in United States v. Windsor found DOMA unconstitutional and therefore unenforceable, but it’s still on the books.
It has passed in the House in a vote of 267 to 157, with 47 Republicans joining Democrats in supporting it. Whether it will pass the Senate remains uncertain, although several Republican senators have agreed to support the bill.
“The Respect for Marriage Act will protect same-sex and interracial marriages from any radical or bigoted decision that may come from the current extreme Supreme Court majority,” out U.S. Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island, said in a release announcing the Respect for Marriage Act. “As Chairman of the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus, I want the LGBTQ+ community to know that this caucus is fighting for them and their right to live freely. This legislation will protect their marriages and ensure they continue to be recognized, even if a future Supreme Court overturns landmark marriage equality decisions. I am proud of this bill, and I urge Congress to promptly pass this legislation.”