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House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (L) with House Speaker John BoehnerMcCarthy's office / Flickr

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) — Congressional Democrats have renewed their efforts to codify same-sex “marriage” in federal law in preparation for a hypothetical future repeal of the U.S. Supreme Court precedent forcing all 50 states to recognize it, but House Republican leaders are reportedly giving their lawmakers permission to roll over for it.

In a concurring opinion for Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, last month’s case, which repealed the notorious abortion precedent Roe v. Wade, conservative Justice Clarence Thomas called for the reconsideration of other dubious precedents, including the 2015 marriage case Obergefell v. Hodges. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz recently said that Obergefell was “clearly wrong” but unlikely to be revisited in the near future.

Nevertheless, on Monday Democrats (along with liberal Republican Sen. Susan Collins) introduced the so-called “Respect for Marriage Act.” The bill would repeal the longstanding (but unenforced) Defense of Marriage Act, which recognized marriage as a man-woman union in federal law and protected states’ rights to do the same; federally recognize any “marriage” lawfully performed by any state; and force every state to recognize the “marriages” of every other state.

On Tuesday, Axios reported that House Republican leaders Kevin McCarthy and Steve Scalise are not telling their caucus to oppose the measure but are “instead advising them to vote their conscience,” according to a senior Republican aide.

Chief Deputy Whip Drew Ferguson told the outlet that he has “not had a lot of conversations with members” about the legislation, and that the caucus currently has “other battles that seem to be a little higher priority.”

Axios quotes several House Republicans as either undecided on or supportive of the bill. Passage in the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives is a foregone conclusion, but it remains to be seen if enough Senate Republicans will cross party lines to clear the legislative filibuster. “Over 20 Republicans declined to say how they’d vote on the issue in interviews with Axios last week,” the outlet added.

In the wake of the Dobbs opinion, Democrats quickly settled on stoking fears of an “extremist” Court overturning other unrelated precedents as one of their favorite tactics in hopes of driving left-wing turnout in this fall’s midterm elections. But while conservatives and constitutionalists would love to see Obergefell reversed, there is currently no indication that the Supreme Court is inclined to reverse it, that a case to raise the issue is anywhere close to reaching the nation’s highest court, or that the Republican Party currently has any appetite for such a battle.

Social conservatives have long suspected that, while publicly decrying Obergefell at the time as judicial activism, many elected Republicans were secretly relieved that the Supreme Court removed the issue from the democratic process, thereby exempting them from having to take firm stands on future action to address it. But while polls now show consistently high support for same-sex “marriage,” polls have also contained indicators that the most recent manifestations of the LGBT agenda are alienating some voters, creating openings that could be built upon by leaders willing to seize the issue.

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