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WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ted Cruz said he will vote against a bill to codify same-sex marriage protections into federal law, ahead of a possible Senate clash over one of the few remaining Democratic priorities that must be voted on first. midterm elections. .
In an episode of his podcast on Tuesday, Cruz said the project would be an attack on religious freedoms. Cruz’s no comes after he said in July that while he thought the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to legalize gay marriage was “clearly wrong,” it would also be “more than a little chaotic for the court to do something that somehow disrupted these marriages. .” Later that month, he also said that Texas should repeal a now-defunct law banning gay sex.
Senator John Cornyn will also vote against the bill, according to his office.
The Respect for Marriage Act passed the House in July with the support of 47 Republicans, including Representative Tony Gonzales, the only Republican in Texas to vote in favor of the bill. The House bill was prompted by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ agreement to overturn Roe v. Wade, in which he said the court should reconsider its decision to protect same-sex marriage.
Seeking a vote this month, Democrats are pushing to put Republicans in an uncomfortable position ahead of the November election.
“This bill without protection of religious freedom would have massive consequences across our country, arming the Biden administration to attack universities, K-12 schools, social service organizations, churches and take away all of their tax-exempt status.” said Cruz. in an episode of his podcast The Verdict.
Several Senate Republicans have publicly suggested they are open to the bill, including Senator Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Rob Portman of Ohio, Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, according to CNN.
For the bill to pass the House, Senate Democrats would have to hold the entirety of their fragile 50-member majority together — and divert at least 10 votes from the GOP to overcome a Republican obstruction. Cruz said he and allies are fighting to keep Republicans from voting on the bill.
“We’re having strong arguments at the conference about this,” Cruz said. “I and several others are pushing for an amendment to the bill that would be a strong protection of religious freedom.”
As Republicans pressure each other in the vote, the Democratic leadership may be planning to pressure the GOP to support the same-sex marriage bill, combining it with a stopgap bill to continue federal government funding, according to to Reuters. Lawmakers must pass the interim law before the end of the month to avoid a partial federal shutdown.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, who determines when and if the House will consider the same-sex marriage bill, said on the Senate floor Tuesday: “Democrats will work in good faith to avoid even a hint of a standstill. And it is my expectation that our fellow Republicans will do the same.”
But while Cruz said he was a staunch opponent of the legislation, he wasn’t sure how the saga would unfold.
“I don’t know if we’re going to get a vote on this amendment and I don’t know how the vote will be shaken,” Cruz said. “I hope it doesn’t pass, but I don’t know what will happen.”
The full program is now LIVE for the 2022 Texas Tribune Festival, taking place September 22-24 in Austin. Explore the lineup of over 100 mind-expanding conversations coming to TribFest, including the inside banner about the 2022 election and 2023 legislative session, the state of public and higher education at this stage of the pandemic, why suburban Texas are growing, why broadband access issues, the legacy of slavery, what really happened in Uvalde and much more. See the program.