Missouri Republican Representative Vicky Hartzler was not happy with her colleagues in the House of Representatives ahead of the chamber's vote to approve a landmark bill codifying marriage equality for same gender and interracial couples into law.
A tearful Hartzler begged members of the House to vote against the Respect for Marriage Act (RMA) in the spirit of protecting Americans "who believe in the true meaning of marriage" and referred to the bill as "dangerous."
The House ultimately approved the legislation, which guarantees federal recognition of any marriage between two people if it was valid in the state where they were married. It also requires states to accept the legitimacy of a valid marriage performed elsewhere but does not require any state to issue a marriage license contrary to its own laws.
The bill—which passed the House in a 258-169 vote—is a major win for LGBTQ+ rights advocates, who sounded the alarm following Associate Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas' solo concurring opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization. Thomas stated LGBTQ+ rights and marriage equality should be reconsidered now that the constitutional right to an abortion was overturned.
You can hear what Hartzler said in the video below.
"I'll tell you my priority: protect religious liberty, protect religious faith, and protect Americans who believe in the true meaning of marriage."
"I hope and pray that my colleagues will find the courage to join me in opposing this misguided and this dangerous bill."
Many called out Hartzler's homophobia following her speech.
Hartzler is one of the most virulently anti-LGBTQ+ members of Congress and has openly opposed same-sex marriage, civil unions and domestic partnerships throughout her political career.
In 2019, Hartzler wrote an OpEd in which she rejected the Equality Act, which, if passed, would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (including titles II, III, IV, VI, VII, and IX) to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, public accommodations, education, federally funded programs, credit and jury service.
That same year, she sponsored an event by proponents of conversion therapy, which is defined as any attempt to change a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. The controversial practice has been rejected by all major medical and psychological organizations.
It is often described as "promoting healthy sexuality" or "sexual reorientation efforts" in right-wing circles as conversion therapy has come under further scrutiny.