On Tuesday, the U.S. House voted on the so-called “Respect for Marriage” Act. The measure calls for the repeal of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, a bill that recognized marriage as exclusively between one man and one woman.

But while most Republicans voted against the measure, one Texas Republican bucked his colleagues and joined Democrats: U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzales.

The Respect for Marriage Act would establish federal protections for gay marriage and require that same-sex marriage be viewed as valid and legal in all governmental proceedings.

The measure also authorizes the U.S. attorney general to initiate civil action against individuals who breach the legislation, and gives citizens the authority to launch civil action if their rights, as laid out in the bill, are violated.

After passing in a 267-157 vote in the House, with 47 Republicans joining 220 Democrats, the Senate will now consider the bill. There, it faces unclear odds in the evenly divided chamber. Republican leadership has not cracked down on the legislation, instead telling Republicans to vote according to their consciences.  

The Texas GOP has historically opposed gay marriage. This opposition was clearly affirmed in the party platform, which was updated just last month. 

Of the 24 Republican U.S. representatives from Texas, all except one opposed formally codifying protections of same-sex marriage into federal law.

U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzales of San Antonio was the only Texas Republican to vote in favor of supporting gay marriage.

Chris Hopper, president of the Texas Family Project, told Texas Scorecard that despite efforts to downplay the vote, the outcome reveals a major issue in the Capitol.

“Some say, ‘This is between consenting adults, where is the harm?’ These, among others, are common statements regurgitated in the defense of the destructive and unbiblical agendas being force-fed to the American public,” said Hopper.

“Republicans who claim to be pro-family, we are watching. Republicans who ran on a platform defending the Biblical definition of marriage, we are watching.”

Juliana Berg

Juliana is a summer fellow for Texas Scorecard. She is studying political science and philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin. She enjoys learning about the philosophies that shape America.

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