Pennsylvania Republican Representative Glenn Thompson was sharply criticized after it emerged that he attended his gay son's wedding mere days after voting against the Respect for Marriage Act (RMA), a bill proposed by the Democratic House to codify marriage equality.
Thompson's son, whose name has not been published because he is not a public figure, confirmed that he “married the love of [his] life” on Friday, July 22, and that his “father was there.” Thompson's press secretary Madeline Stone also confirmed his attendance, saying that Thompson and his wife are “very happy” to welcome their new son-in-law “into their family.”
But just days ago, Stone messaged local newspaper Centre Daily and referred to the marriage equality bill as “nothing more than an election-year messaging stunt for Democrats in Congress who have failed to address historic inflation and out of control prices at gas pumps and grocery stores.”
\u201cGOP congressman who voted against a House bill that would codify same-sex marriage protections attended his gay son\u2019s wedding over the weekend.\nhttps://t.co/wdKLTHPqEm\u201d— NBC Out (@NBC Out) 1658784270
Thompson was one of 157 House Republicans who voted against the bill last week. Only 47 House Republicans broke with their party to support it.
Concerns about the future of marriage equality have taken on fresh urgency in the weeks since the Supreme Court's decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark decision that once protected a person's right to choose reproductive healthcare without excessive government restriction.
The decision on Roe, which hinged on a right to privacy that while not explicitly granted in the United States Constitution was nonetheless accepted per the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment (which grants all citizens “equal protection of the laws,") suggested other Supreme Court rulings, such as those regarding contraception, same-sex and interracial marriage, are now in doubt.
Associate Justice Clarence Thomas suggested in a solo concurring opinion that established gay rights (Lawrence v. Texas and Obergefell v. Hodges) and contraception rights (Griswold v. Connecticut) should be reconsidered now that the federal right to reproductive freedom has been revoked, calling them "demonstrably erroneous" and calling on the Court to "correct the error."
Thompson was immediately called out for hypocrisy.
\u201cWe loathe hypocrites in PA, like Glenn Thompson, who voted against gay marriage, then attended his son's gay wedding.\n\nThat's why we won't elect Mehmet Oz, who says he will "protect the border", yet his family business got fined $95M for hiring 3,000+ illegal immigrants in PA.\u201d— Kyla in the Burgh \ud83c\udff4\u200d\u2620\ufe0f\ud83d\udd25 (@Kyla in the Burgh \ud83c\udff4\u200d\u2620\ufe0f\ud83d\udd25) 1658831983
\u201cGlenn Thompson (R - PA) voted AGAINST gay marriage then attended his son\u2019s gay marriage 3 days later. There is no limit to #GOPHypocrisy #OurBlueVoice\u201d— Judi Pennella (@Judi Pennella) 1658835906
\u201cGOP lawmaker opposed same-sex marriage, then went to gay son\u2019s wedding\nRep. Glenn Thompson of PA was \u2018happy to welcome\u2019 his new son-in-law into the family, a spokesperson said\n\nGOP Cowards and Hypocrites: Do as I say, not as I do.\u201d— Olga \ud83c\udde8\ud83c\udde6\ud83c\uddec\ud83c\uddf7\ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf8 (@Olga \ud83c\udde8\ud83c\udde6\ud83c\uddec\ud83c\uddf7\ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf8) 1658838129
\u201cGOP Rep. Glenn Thompson from #Pennsylvania attended his son\u2019s gay wedding just 3 days after voting against gay marriage. His son should have disinvited his father since it doesnt show respect for him, his partner or #LGBTQ. PA has a lot of crazy with this guy & Doug Mastriano!\u201d— Dan "I Stand With Ukraine" P (@Dan "I Stand With Ukraine" P) 1658845533
\u201cPA. @CongresmanGT Glenn Thompson\u2019s hypocrisy is purely a by-product.\n\nIn today\u2019s GOP, the cruelty is the point. https://t.co/LJcYZVwCX9\u201d— \ud835\udc12\ud835\udc27\ud835\udc28\ud835\udc33\ud835\udc33\ud835\udc16\ud835\udc1a\ud835\udc27\ud835\udc20\ud835\udc1e\ud835\udc2b\ud83c\udf3b (@\ud835\udc12\ud835\udc27\ud835\udc28\ud835\udc33\ud835\udc33\ud835\udc16\ud835\udc1a\ud835\udc27\ud835\udc20\ud835\udc1e\ud835\udc2b\ud83c\udf3b) 1658800167
\u201cGOP Rep. Glenn Thompson (PA) who opposed a bill to protect same-sex marriage, attended his gay son's wedding 3 days after casting his vote.\n\nIf I were his son, I'd cut him out of my life. Saying he was "thrilled" while voting against his own son's rights..\u201d— \ud83d\udda4\ud83e\udd8bRowan Moon\ud83e\udd8b\ud83d\udda4 (@\ud83d\udda4\ud83e\udd8bRowan Moon\ud83e\udd8b\ud83d\udda4) 1658842866
\u201cPA Rep. Glenn Thompson\u2019s gay son got married on Friday. \n\nAND HE VOTED AGAINST the Respect for Marriage Act just a few days prior. \n\nMazel.\u201d— Jay Arnold (@Jay Arnold) 1658794640
\u201cDaddy of the year would gladly do it again if it would help him or his party. I'm pretty sure he'd vote against social security for his mom, economic aid for the family and wouldn't hesitate a minute to send off his nephews and nieces to fight a war for ''freedom''.\u201d— Doug Hammond (@Doug Hammond) 1658851204
Thompson's hypocrisy became even more stark when audio of his speech at his son's wedding leaked, which you can listen to here.
In the speech, Thompson said:
"We’re just blessed, and we just want to say thank you to everyone here as part of the celebration." ...
“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."
Other Republicans have publicly spoken out against the marriage equality bill in media appearances.
Recently, Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio said that the bill is a "stupid waste of time." Prior to that, Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz said that the Supreme Court "was clearly wrong about its 2015 same-sex marriage ruling," insisting that the case had not been correctly decided.
Speaking on his podcast Verdict with Ted Cruz, he said that in Obergefell "the Court said, 'no, we know better than you,' and now every state must sanction and permit gay marriage," constituting what he considers governmental overreach.