ST. PETERSBURG, Fla — The U.S. House voted to pass legislation this week to protect same-sex and interracial marriages with dozens of Republicans joining Democrats to achieve its passage to the Senate.
The vote was 267-157 with every Democrat voting in favor of H.R. 8404, the Respect for Marriage Act. Forty-seven Republicans concurred. Its approval comes amid concerns that the Supreme Court's ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade's abortion access could impact other rights criticized by conservative Americans.
Among the 267 yeas were six Florida Republican congress members.
Reps. Kat Cammack, Mario Diaz-Balart, Carlos A. Gimenez, Brian J. Mast, Maria Elvira Salazar and Michael Waltz each voted in favor of the bill that provides statutory authority for same-sex and interracial marriages.
Ten Florida Republican congress members voted against the legislation.
Reps. Gus M. Bilirakis, Vern Buchanan, Byron Donalds, Neal P. Dunn, C. Scott Franklin, Matt Gaetz, Bill Posey, John H. Rutherford, W. Gregory Steube and Daniel Webster. A handful of these lawmakers represent parts of the Tampa Bay area, down to the Sarasota-Bradenton area.
Among the Democrats who voted in favor was Rep. Charlie Crist who is one of the frontrunners for the Democratic nominee in the August primary to decide who challenges Gov. Ron DeSantis in the fall.
While the Respect for Marriage Act is expected to pass the House, with a Democratic majority, it is almost certain to stall in the evenly split Senate, where most Republicans would likely join a filibuster to block it. It's one of several bills, including those enshrining abortion access, that Democrats are proposing to confront the court's conservative majority. Another bill, guaranteeing access to contraceptive services, is set for a vote later this week.
Polling shows a majority of Americans favor preserving rights to marry whom one wishes, regardless of the person's sex, gender, race or ethnicity, a long-building shift in modern mores toward inclusion.
A Gallup poll in June showed broad and increasing support for same-sex marriage, with 70 percent of U.S. adults saying they think such unions should be recognized by law as valid. The poll showed majority support among both Democrats (83%) and Republicans (55%).
The Associated Press contributed to this article.