Rep. Chip Roy introduces spending bill amendment to defund Respect for Marriage Act

Rep. Chip Roy’s office is introducing an amendment to the $1.7 trillion spending bill that would effectively defund the Respect for Marriage Act.

The amendment is a short, three-line bill prohibiting the use of Department of Justice funding to enforce the law signed into effect earlier this month.

Roy, who represents Texas’s 21st District, previously tried to introduce an amendment that would have prohibited the federal government from retaliating against any individual or organization that opposes same-sex marriage on religious or moral grounds. 

Committee Chairman Rep. James McGovern, D-Mass., refused to allow Roy’s amendment to advance to the House floor, explaining that Democrats wanted to pass the Respect for Marriage Act during the lame-duck session of Congress before Republicans take over the House next year.

‘If we were to amend this, and it goes back to the Senate, for all intents and purposes, it’s dead for the year,’ McGovern said. ‘And many of us believe that we have a court right now that is hellbent on trying to reverse the rights for the LGBTQ community, and we do not trust them to respect marriage equality in this country.’ 

On Dec. 13, President Biden hosted a signing ceremony alongside Vice President Kamala Harris, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer outside the White House, where the president codified the Respect for Marriage Act.

The law requires the federal government to recognize same-sex marriages performed in states where they are legal, but it does not go as far as some Democrats wanted.

The bill won approval in a 258-169 vote after the Senate passed it 61-36 earlier this month. Despite protests from some GOP members that the bill does not do enough to protect religious liberty, 39 House Republicans voted for the bill.

The new law intends to keep gay marriage legal, should the U.S. Supreme Court ever decide to reverse its 2015 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which legalized same-sex unions nationwide. 

The Senate on Thursday approved the $1.7 trillion spending bill with help from more than a dozen Republican lawmakers after a fight over immigration policy nearly derailed the legislation.

In a 68-29 vote, the Senate passed a bill that provides $858 billion for defense, $787 billion for non-defense domestic programs and nearly $45 billion for military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine. The more than 4,000-page bill funds the government for the rest of the fiscal year and includes more than 7,200 earmarks totaling more than $15 billion.

Fox News’ Brianna Herlihy, Chris Pandolfo and Lawrence Richard contributed to this report.

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