ARKANSAS, USA — Nearly a month after the Supreme Court voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, the House passed a bill to protect marriage equality. House members say they fear the Supreme Court could revisit other landmark decisions.
"To constitutional protect rights and then take them away,” said Megan Tullock, NWA Equality, Director of Programs and Advocacy. “So, I really feel that everything is up for negotiation."
Arkansas' four GOP House members voted against the bill titled "Respect for Marriage Act." The bill provides statutory authority for same-sex and interracial marriages.
"Arkansas is plainly on every map of areas where rights are in jeopardy," Tullock said.
Third District Congressman Steve Womack sent the following statement to 5NEWS:
"The Supreme Court has made clear that nobody's marriage is under threat. The majority opinion in the Dobbs decision further recognized that this precedent was not in question. Insinuating otherwise is not only inaccurate, but it’s also blatant fearmongering. The American people deserve better than scare tactics used for political gain. With inflation at its highest since 1981—and crisis after crisis hurting the nation—Democrats are desperately resorting to cruel and unfounded claims to try and distract from their failed agenda."
However, Tullock doesn't see it that way.
"They are taking away human rights. I think the right to marry the person you love," Tullock said. "Should that federal protection go away, marriage protection ends right here."
Congressman French Hill called the bill unnecessary. In a statement, he said, "in my view, in today's America, our citizens can already marry whomever they wish regardless of sex, race, religion, or national origin."
Congressman Bruce Westerman issued a statement saying, "the 'Respect for Marriage Act' is nothing but a red herring to distract the American people from the disastrous economy, open border, and rising crime shaped by liberal policies."
"Walk and chew gum," Tullock said. "You can both deal with the economy and deal with people's rights. You don't have to pick."
Tullock says for Congressman Westerman to call that a distraction is an indication of privilege.
5NEWS did reach out to Congressman Rick Crawford’s office for a statement.
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