Both Democrats and Republicans are being predictable these past few weeks in the wake of the reversal of Roe v. Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court. It’s an issue that will continue to enhance emotional responses and continue to divide constituents.
There have been few movements that are definitely political theater, including two recent attempts to codify certain rights that many believe may now be in jeopardy due to the repeal of Roe v. Wade.
The first was the vote in the House last week to codify abortion as law. Predictably, the Women’s Health Protection Act passed 219-210, almost entirely along party lines with every Democrat but one in favor and every Republican opposed. The Ensuring Access to Abortion Act passed 223-205 with every Democrat voting for it and every Republican but a handful opposing it.
The legislation moves to the Senate, where it will not pass. It will not pass until there are wholesale changes in the makeup of the Senate, something which is not expected to happen in 2022, even though some may believe the abortion issue will galvanize voters to the Democratic side.
The second proposal this week was the House’s vote to codify same-sex marriage and interracial marriage into law, which Democrats proposed in response to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas suggesting the landmark court ruling Obergefell v. Hodges, which legalized same-sex marriage nationwide, should be reviewed. He also included contraception in that response.
At least in this bill, 47 Republicans voted in favor. All of Oklahoma’s congressional delegation voted against, which while predictable, is disappointing.
We all get it that the Democrats are proposing these laws in order to get Republicans “on the record” as the mid-term elections come up. It’s political gamesmanship, but we still don’t understand why Oklahoma Republican representatives aren’t willing to go on the record as supportive of protecting same-sex and interracial marriage rights.
While many may disagree with same-sex marriage for religious reasons, the majority of Americans, including Oklahomans, support it, just as they support interracial marriage, and certainly, contraception. These issues are much, much different than the abortion issue.
U.S. Rep. Stephanie Bice recycled earlier “no vote” comments she has made on other issues by saying “Tonight’s vote is an attempt to divert from the very real issues that are affecting everyday Oklahomans. To make matters worse, Democrats in the House rammed through this legislation without any congressional hearings or committee debate.”
Do Bice and the others really think Oklahomans aren’t concerned about these issues? Do there really need to be congressional hearings on these very private matters? It’s a cop-out statement.
Again, we agree the Democrats are playing a political game. But by hesitating or voting no on the marriage question, and eventually the contraception question, the state delegation is showing Oklahomans that they appear to be out of touch with the 21st Century as well as some real concerns brought about by the reversal of 50 years of federal precedented law.