Alyssa Farah Griffin, the new conservative panelist on ABC’s daytime talk program The View, criticized members of her own political party for voting against a bill to codify same-sex marriage into law.
Griffin, who previously served as press secretary for former Vice President Mike Pence before serving as White House Director of Strategic Communications, explained how shocked she was seeing the number of Republicans who voted against the bill.
“They’re on the wrong side of this,” Griffin said during a recent on-air discussion on the issue. “On the one hand, I’m pleased that the House was able to pass codifying marriage equality into law, but the number of Republicans that were against it — it’s 2022. This is the easiest issue.”
The bill, dubbed the “Respect for Marriage Act,” would enshrine federal protections for same-sex couples, allowing them to marry, regardless of where they live, and ensuring their marriages are recognized as valid for legal purposes.
The bill was prompted by a recent Supreme Court decision overturning abortion, as well as comments from Justice Clarence Thomas that the high court should revisit the issue of same-sex marriage. If the court did decide to overturn its own precedent and reverse the landmark Obergefell v. Hodges decision, which effectively legalized marriage equality nationwide, the issue would then go back to the states, with same-sex marriages being nullified or not recognized in 36 different states.
Last Thursday, the Respect for Marriage Act passed the U.S. House of Representatives, with only 47 of 213 Republicans voting for marriage equality, despite same-sex nuptials enjoying support from a majority of Americans, according to recent polling.
“Seventy-one percent of Americans are for marriage equality,” Griffin said, citing those statistics. “Sixty-five percent of young people, Republicans under 30, are also for it. I bet the number is even bigger than that. We have lived in a world where that’s all we know. Our friends are married, they have kids.”
Advocates of the bill have argued that it is necessary to preserve the rights of LGBTQ Americans as the Supreme Court takes a more skeptical view of rights not explicitly mentioned in the U.S. Constitution.
Fellow View co-host Whoopi Goldberg noted that a number of Republicans are also gay, and might be in favor of same-sex marriage. Co-host Sara Haines said she believed some Republicans were for it, but wouldn’t vote for the bill because it might mean a legislative win for Democrats and President Joe Biden.
But Griffin countered that she worries that Senate Democrats, led by Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), may not schedule a vote on the matter, for fear of giving cover to moderate Republicans who might vote for the bill, in an election year.
“I hope Chuck Schumer will bring this up for a vote,” Griffin said, adding she believes there are more than 10 Republicans willing to vote for the bill, or at least vote for cloture to overcome a potential filibuster.
“On both sides, do not play politics,” she said. “These are American families, couples, parents. It’s not right. Bring it to a vote.”
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