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.”
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rights (Griswold v. Connecticut) should be reconsidered now that the federal right to reproductive freedom has been revoked, calling them "demonstrably erroneous" and calling on the Court to "correct the error."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.
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.