The Respect for Marriage Act, a bill that would codify gay marriage into federal law, successfully passed the House of Representatives on Thursday with bipartisan support.
Thirty-nine Republicans voted for the bill’s passage, while Democrats were unanimous in their support.
The final count was 258-169. The record of votes can be viewed here.
Republican Rep. Nancy Mace of South Carolina issued a statement giving her reasons for voting yes.
“Today’s vote to protect marriage and protect religious liberties marks the end of a long fight for the basic civil right for any two people to marry without discrimination,” Mace said.
“The right to marry whoever you love regardless of the color of your skin or orientation shouldn’t be controversial.”
Republican Chris Stewart of Utah echoed Mace’s sentiments in his own statement.
“Civil rights are not a finite resource. We do not have to take from one group to give to another. That’s why I was proud to once again vote in favor of the Respect for Marriage Act.”
The legislation got eight fewer Republican votes than when it was brought before the House in July.
According to The Hill, seven Republicans switched their vote from yes to no, while Burgess Owens of Utah went from yes to “present.”
Two Republicans, Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin and Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington, switched from no to yes.
Gallagher, a usually conservative vote in the caucus, addressed his vote by pointing out the religious liberty provision added to the current bill.
“The Respect for Marriage Act fixes the polygamy loophole in Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi’s hastily written version and creates strong religious liberty protections for religious organizations, including schools, churches, and adoption agencies.
“It also moves more of the issue of marriage to the states — where I believe it belongs — while providing practical reciprocity provisions for those who move from one state to another,” Gallagher said.
While Gallagher was satisfied with the provision, other Republicans were not.
In a statement on Twitter, Dan Meuser of Pennsylvania warned that “this bill goes beyond marriage & weakens the religious freedoms fundamental to our nation.”
“What will be affected by the passage of this bill are the religious freedoms and protections of Americans. Therefore, I can’t support the Senate Amendment to the Respect for Marriage Act.”
Owens shared many of those sentiments.
“Religious freedom cannot prevail until and unless individuals and small business owners practicing their sincere religious beliefs have explicit protection under the law,” he said.
“By protecting churches and religious organizations, we are only scratching the surface of the full scope of our First Amendment rights.”
The bill will now go to President Joe Biden’s desk where it will be signed into law.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.