Florida’s past Governor and now junior Senator, Rick Scott, shortly after voting against a procedural measure that would federally recognize and protect same-sex and interracial marriage said, “I proudly support the gay community in Florida and across the nation and will aggressively fight any attempt to take away the ability for same-sex couples to marry and live their dreams in our great country.”
Scott joined his Florida cohort, Marco Rubio and 35 other Republican Senators in voting against the measure in the US Senate. The Respect for Marriage Act would repeal the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act and would also protect interracial marriage by requiring the federal government to recognize valid marriage regardless of “sex, race, ethnicity or national origin.”
The measure was introduced by House Democrats this summer after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade decision which ended a federal right for a woman to have an abortion in America. In his concurring opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that the Supreme Court should reconsider protecting same-sex relationships, marriage equality and access to contraceptives.
The new law would ensure same-sex and interracial couples continue having their marriages recognized regardless of future Supreme Court rulings. The U.S. House passed the measure earlier this year but will need to vote once more after the Senate changed the bill to include a ‘religious liberty’ amendment which would protect “all religious liberty and conscience protections available under the Constitution or Federal law,” according to a summary of the changes.
The legislation says religious organizations, certain religious nonprofits, and their employees “shall not be required to provide services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges for the solemnization or celebration of a marriage.”