By Corinne Murdock |
The mayors of Mesa, Phoenix, Tempe, and Tucson signed onto a letter Tuesday asking the Senate leaders to codify gay marriage through the Respect for Marriage Act.
The mayors declared that codifying the act affirmed the rights and freedoms of gay couples.
“America’s cities are the bastions of equality, opportunity, and progress. We cannot risk that couples in LGBTQ or interracial marriages could be denied the right to legal protections that other couples take for granted,” read the letter.
Of all the mayors to sign onto the letter, only Mayor Regina Romero publicized her support, calling for the Senate to ensure marriage equality.
If passed, the Respect for Marriage Act would prohibit states from denying the validity of gay marriages. It would also empower the Department of Justice (DOJ) to act against those who would deny the validity of gay marriages.
The act cites the 2013 and 2015 Supreme Court decisions, United States v. Windsor and Obergefell v. Hodges, to support its case for modifying the traditional definition of marriage.
The act also issues an explicit protection for interracial marriages.
The House passed the act in July, 267 to 157. All of Arizona’s Republican representatives voted against the act, while all the Democrats voted for it.
In all, 47 Republican representatives helped pass the act. The Senate needs the support of at least 10 Republicans to pass it on their end.
A coalition of Senate Republicans are working to add an amendment protecting religious liberties.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer promised that the Senate would vote on the act within the month.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), however, hasn’t stated whether he supports the act. During a press conference on Tuesday, McConnell wouldn’t speculate on Senate Republicans’ support for the act.
“If the Senate Majority Leader decides to bring [the act] up, we’ll see where the votes are,” said McConnell.
Also on Tuesday, a coalition of over 2,000 church and ministry leaders issued a letter asking the Senate to reject the act.
Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.