When the House passed Jerry Nadler’ Respect for Marriage Act (H.R. 8404) on Tuesday evening, which provides statutory authority for same-sex and interracial marriages, 47 Republicans bolted from their party’s homophobic and racist ideology to vote with all the Democrats. It passed 267 to 157. All 157 bigots are Republicans— and not just the crackpot Gang-Greene fringe. Supposedly non-fascist, “mainstream” conservatives like Kevin McCarthy (CA), David Schweikert (AZ),Tim Walberg (MI), Bob Latta (OH), Jaime Herrera Buetler (WA), Mike Gallagher (WI), Jake Ellzey (TX), Michelle Steel (CA), Steve Scalise (LA), Steve Chabot (OH), Tom McClintock (CA), David Joyce (OH), Vern Buchanan (FL), Victoria Spartz (IN), Mike Bost (IL), Young Kim (CA), Rob Wittman (VA), Dusty Johnson (SD)… voted with the extremists because, because, because, it’s exactly what their hate-filled, vicious base voters want. Homophobia and bigotry are an integral part of what the Republican Party is today. Even notorious closet cases like Patrick McHenry (NC), Adrian Smith (NE), Madison Cawthorn (NC), Matt Gaetz (FL), and Jason Smith (MO) voted against the legislation.
Yesterday, Trip Gabriel covered today virulent Republican Party homophobia. He began in Michigan: “Days after the Supreme Court overturned the right to abortion, Michigan’s Republican candidates for governor were asked if it was also time to roll back constitutional protections for gay rights. None of the five candidates came to the defense of same-sex marriage.”
Since the Supreme Court decision last month overturning Roe v. Wade, anti-gay rhetoric and calls to roll back established LGBTQ protections have grown bolder. And while Republicans in Congress appear deeply divided about same-sex marriage— nearly 50 House Republicans on Tuesday joined Democrats in supporting a bill that would recognize same-sex marriages at the federal level— many Republican officials and candidates across the country have made attacking gay and transgender rights a party norm this midterm season.
In Texas, Attorney General Ken Paxton said after the Roe reversal that he would be “willing and able” to defend at the Supreme Court any law criminalizing sodomy enacted by the Legislature. Before that, the Republican Party of Texas adopted a platform that calls homosexuality “an abnormal lifestyle choice.”
In Utah, the Republican president of the State Senate, Stuart Adams, said he would support his state’s joining with others to press the Supreme Court to reverse the right of same-sex couples to wed. In Arizona, Kari Lake, a candidate for governor endorsed by Donald Trump, affirmed in a June 29 debate her support for a bill barring children from drag shows— the latest target of supercharged rhetoric on the right.
…Some Democrats and advocates for LGBTQ communities say the Republican attacks have deepened their concerns that the overturning of Roe could undermine other cases built on the same legal foundation— the right to privacy provided in the Fourteenth Amendment— and lead to increases in hate crimes as well as suicides of LGBTQ youth.
“The dominoes have started to fall, and they won’t just stop at one,” said Attorney General Dana Nessel of Michigan, a Democrat who was the first openly gay person elected to statewide office there. “People should see the connection between reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, women’s rights, interracial marriage— these things are all connected legally.”
This year, Republican-led states have already passed numerous restrictions on transgender young people and on school discussions of sexual orientation and gender.
In June, Louisiana became the 18th state, all with GOP-led legislatures, to ban transgender students from playing on sports teams that match their gender identity. Laws to prohibit transitioning medical treatments to people under 18, such as puberty blockers, hormones and surgeries— which advocates call gender-affirming care— have been enacted by four states. And after Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida signed a law in March banning classroom discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in early grades, more than a dozen other states moved to imitate it.
In all, over 300 bills to restrict LGBTQ rights have been introduced this year in 23 states, according to the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBTQ advocacy organization.
Last month, a new Gallup poll showed that support for same=sex marriage reached an all-time high— 70%. Even a majority of Republican voters (55%) say they support same-sex marriage, as do 83% of Democrats and 73% of independent voters.
About 1 in 5 LGBTQ people identify as Republicans, many because they favor lower taxes, less restrictions on business and more restrictions on abortions, some sick ideological grounding as other Republicans. Other gays who back to GOP are just very ill and self-loathing types who actually enjoy being likened to pedophilia and beastiality. Trump won as much as 27% of the LGBTQ vote in 2020.