Peter Hall, Pennsylvania Capital-Star
The Republican congressman from Pennsylvania’s sprawling and conservative 15th U.S. House District has drawn national attention for voting against a bill that would protect same-sex marriage rights days before attending his gay son’s wedding last weekend.
U.S. Rep. Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson was one of 157 Republicans in the U.S. House to vote “nay” on the Respect for Marriage Act last week.
The legislation, which passed 267-157 in the House with 47 Republican votes, is intended to protect the right of same-sex couples to marry in light of indications from the Supreme Court in its decision overturning Roe v. Wade that the same reasoning could be applicable to other court-granted rights.
Five other Pennsylvania Republicans voted against the bill. U.S. Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick, Dan Meuser, and Scott Perry, all of Pennsylvania, were among the Republicans who voted in favor of the measure.
Reported last week by Gawker before the wedding, Thompson’s vote against his son’s matrimonial interests sparked a frenzy of reports highlighting his perfidy.
A guest at the wedding provided BuzzFeed News an audio recording of Thompson’s speech at the reception, where he described the union as a blessing, and described it as a good experience to have a new son enter the family.
Speaking about a parent’s hopes for their children, Thompson said, “we also hope and pray they’re going to find that one true love so that they have the opportunity to experience that: Someone to grow old with. So we’re just really thankful that you’re here.
“”We love it when they find their one true love, especially when they become a part of our families then. That’s what we’re rooting for,” Thompson said.
Thompson’s office said in a statement to the Capital-Star that the congressman and his wife were thrilled to attend and celebrate their son’s wedding
“The Thompsons are very happy to welcome their new son-in-law into their family,” spokesperson Maddison Stone said.
But Stone also described the Respect for Marriage Act as a Democratic election-year stunt and changed the subject to the Democratic majority’s inability to control record inflation and gasoline prices.
Thompson’s district includes all or part of 14 counties from the outlying suburbs of Pittsburgh to the New York border.
The U.S. Supreme Court in 2013 struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, which said no state was required to recognize a same-sex marriage performed in another state. U.S. District Judge John E. Jones ruled that Pennsylvania’s ban on same-sex marriage was invalid the following year.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last month in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that the U.S. Constitution does not confer a right to abortion sparked fear that the conservative majority of the court could reverse the DOMA ruling.
In particular, Justice Clarence Thomas’ concurring opinion contained a passage in which he said the court had erred in decisions granting other rights, such as the right to contraception, same-sex sexual relations and same-sex marriage, not explicitly stated in the Constitution.
The Respect for Marriage Act will now be considered in the U.S. Senate.
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