- May 29, 2001
The U.S. House of Representatives voted Tuesday night to protect the right to same-sex and interracial marriages, with three of Iowa's four representatives voting in favor.
U.S. Reps. Ashley Hinson, Mariannette Miller-Meeks and Cindy Axne voted for the Respect for Marriage Act, which passed the House on a 267-157 vote. Axne is a Democrat and Hinson and Miller-Meeks are Republicans. In all, 47 Republicans joined Democrats to vote in favor of the bill.
Rep. Randy Feenstra, a Republican who represents Iowa's 4th Congressional District, voted against the legislation.
The Respect for Marriage Act would require the federal government to recognize marriages as long as they were valid in the state where the marriage took place. It also bans states from denying recognition to out-of-state marriages based on the sex, race, ethnicity or origin of those getting married.
The new legislation would repeal the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as between one man and one woman. That law is still on the books but was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2015 when it held same-sex marriage was a constitutional right.
More:House votes to codify same-sex marriage, fearing Supreme Court revisiting 2015 decision
Congressional Democrats are moving to hold votes protecting the rights to same-sex and interracial marriage and contraception after the U.S. Supreme Court last month overturned Roe v. Wade and eliminated the nationwide right to an abortion. Democrats fear the high court may roll back other rights established via court decision and are moving to codify them into law.
In his concurrence in the case overturning Roe v. Wade, Justice Clarence Thomas called on the Supreme Court to "reconsider" other rights established by the high court, including the right to contraception, same-sex relationships and same-sex marriage. No other justice joined Thomas' concurrence, but it sparked alarm among Democrats.
The House vote comes after the US Supreme Court eliminated the nationwide right to abortion. Democrats fear the ruling leaves other rights at risk.