(MADISON)—Today, Senator Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee) issued the following statement in response the United States House of Representatives vote on the Respect for Marriage Act:
“The recent Dobbs decision taught us the hard way that we cannot rely on the United States Supreme Court to defend our constitutional rights, so I was pleased that the House of Representatives just passed the Respect for Marriage Act with strong bipartisan support, codifying the right for any two adults to marry in our country.
“Our constitution was written based on the principles of separation of powers, and each branch of government has a role in protecting our rights to life, liberty, and dignity. If the Respect for Marriage Act is signed into law, the right to marry for same-sex couples will be shielded from the whims of a far-right activist Supreme Court. I call on the United States Senate to approve the legislation today.
“By passing the Respect for Marriage Act, Congress will sooth the anxiety of married couples across this country and preserve the hard-won civil right to marry who we love. If congress fails to pass this important bill, and the U.S. Supreme Court turns its back on its own precedent as suggested by Justice Clarence Thomas, then many Wisconsinites will lose their ability to marry the person of their choice, making same-sex couples second class citizens once again.
“Only 38 percent of people approve of the Supreme Court and 61 percent believe the court is mainly motivated by politics. This is a direct result of the Dobbs decision to revoke the constitutional right to abortion, obliterating 50 years of precedent. The House of Representatives is wise to observe that Obergefell could be overturned in the same way by a far-right activist Supreme Court.
“Sixty five percent of people favor the right to same sex marriage. But Justice Thomas said he would like the Court to ‘reconsider’ the precedent in Obergefell, and Senator Ted Cruz said that decision was ‘clearly wrong.’ It is clear to me that conservatives would like to see Obergefell fall and that Supreme Court precedent can no longer be considered settled law.
“Since its decisions do not reflect the popular will, and since the public is furious about Supreme Court policymaking, it is up to Congress and the state legislatures to affirm our rights and protect our values.
“I am strongly in favor of the Respect for Marriage Act, and I call on the United States Senate to send it to President Biden for his signature today.”