Taking the House floor last Thursday, Missouri Republican Rep. Vicky Hartzler burst into tears as she begged her colleagues to vote against the Respect for Marriage Act (RFMA) that ultimately ended up passing.
"I'll tell you my priority," said Hartzler. "Protect religious liberty. Protect people of faith. And protect Americans who believe in the true meaning of marriage. I hope and pray that my colleagues," insert tears, "will find the courage to join me," tearful pause, "in opposing this misguided and this dangerous bill."
\u201cHartzler says her priority is protecting people who believe in the true meaning of marriage and then starts to cry while she asks for her colleagues to vote against marriage equality\u201d
The House gave final approval protecting same-sex marriage in a monumental decades-long battle to preserve the right to love and marry who you choose.
With the House passing the bill, President Joe Biden is expected to promptly sign the measure, which requires that all states federally recognize same-sex marriages. This echoes the 2015 Supreme Court decision to legalize these marriages nationwide.
The legislation, which passed 258-169, also protects interracial unions and requires states to recognize legal marriages regardless of "sex, race, ethnicity, or national origin."
Hartzler is far from the only Republican whose feathers have been ruffled by the decision.
Rep. Bob Good (R-VA) said, "God's perfect design is indeed marriage between one man and one woman for life. And it doesn't matter what you think or what I think, that's what the Bible says."
The new legislation does not require states to "allow" same-sex marriage, but to recognize any legal marriages performed in a state where gay marriage is legal. This differs from the Supreme Court's 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges case, which does require states to license and recognize same-sex marriages.
Although the GOP Republicans stand firm in their overall opinion of "traditional" marriage, more than two-thirds of the Republican population now supports same-sex marriage.
To help thwart some of the resistance from Republican opposition, the bill clearly states marriage to be between "two people," which effectively rules out polygamy.
Still, the landmark ruling supports the LGBTQIA+ communities that have suffered from violent attacks and discrimination.
Kelley Robinson, the incoming president of the Human Rights Campaign advocacy group, said the vote shows that the country values the LGBTQ community "in such an important way. We are part of the full story of what it means to be an American. It really speaks to them validating our love."