the handmaid's tale

A Surprising Number of Republicans in Interracial Families Voted Against Their Own Marriage

If you don't like interracial marriage, why did you get one?

In surprising news, the U.S. House of Representatives actually passed a good bill: H. R. 8404 or the “Respect for Marriage Act” passed with a bi-partisan 61.9 percent of the vote, receiving 267 of the 431 potential votes. The bill would ensure that any legal marriage in any state would be recognized in any other state, as well as by the federal government.

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This vote is both overdue and unfortunately necessary thanks to the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade and the reasoning behind that decision. Despite Loving v. Virginia making interracial marriage legal for the past 55+ years and Obergefell v. Hodges making gay marriage legal for the past 7+ (seriously, gay marriage was legalized in the same year of the start of Schitt’s Creek), the Supreme Court has shown us that precedent does not matter and the word of law is the only thing that will actually protect hard-won rights. If the court allows states to pick and choose which marriages they’re willing to perform once again, this is the only way to ensure that marriages will be protected nationwide, even though it won’t force all states to grant new same-sex or interracial marriages.

Still, that does leave the fact that 157 representatives voted against this bill (7 more apparently abstained from the vote). Even wilder is that some of the people who voted against it are in interracial marriages themselves.

Michelle Steel is Korean American and married to Shawn Steel (a white man) and opposed the bill in an attempt to fight LGBTQ people’s right to marriage.

Bryon Donalds is African American and married to Erika Donalds (a white woman).

Michael Cloud is Caucasian American and married Rosel Cloud (a naturalized citizen of Latinx descent).

Stephanie Bice is Iranian Dutch American and married to Geoffrey Brice (a white man).

Some other representatives also have family members who are in interracial relationships.

One of Young Kim’s daughters is married to a white man.

Mary Miller has Black in-laws and grandkids.

(I can’t help but wonder what the reunions are like for these families.)

Perhaps even worse is the fact that Glenn Thompson, a Republican Representative for Pennsylvania, attended his gay son’s wedding three days after he voted no on the “Respect for Marriage Act. How’s that for a wedding present? I can’t decide who I feel worse for: the son of Representative Thompson or the man who just married into this family.

As a biracial, bisexual woman, I would like to ask: why?!

No one was forcing them to do this, the bill had bi-partisan support. So why?

Is it the money, did someone pay them to vote that way? Or are they so racist that they would undo Loving V. Virginia even if it meant nullifying their own children’s marriages?

Seriously, this is some Serena Joy-esque logic that I’m sure will not backfire on them in any way. If you don’t want gay/interracial marriage to be legal, why did you get one?!

Serena Joy glaring as she knits by the fire in the handmaid's tale
Via Hulu

It is genuinely baffling the cognitive dissonance these people are able to pull off. They seem determined to pull us back to the dark ages while also benefiting from the enlightened, progressive environment that was won with the blood, sweat, and tears of the generations before them (or the same generations in the cases of some older representatives; Mildred Loving only passed away in 2008, at 69-years-old). 

It also demonstrates the growing divide between U.S. public opinion and governing bodies/representatives: Approval for interracial relationships is that a 60-year high (currently at 94%, compared to the 4% when the poll started in the 1950s) and LGBTQ+ relationships fare similarly (reaching 70% approval for the first time in 2021) and yet some people are still so racist/homophobic that they’d rather shoot themselves in the foot than let other people be happy.

And this isn’t just a matter of being denied equal rights, but also of ensuring people in private relationships are not criminalized and persecuted for who they love. Richard and Mildred Loving had the police break down their door and arrest them at 2am, a mere five weeks after they were married. The two were thrown in jail and only avoided prison time under the condition that they leave the state. They only returned after the ACLU took on their case and won.

Via Focus Features

If Loving V. Virginia hadn’t effectively legalized interracial marriage and relationships, I might not have been born (my parents are white and Japanese American respectively) and my family certainly wouldn’t have been able to live in my home state of Arizona, one of the states in which it was a felony until 1968.

And the fact that so many Republicans want to end marriages and destroy the homes of so many families is nothing short of vile.

Here’s the full list of every Republican who voted against the bill; I encourage calling your congresspeople, both representatives who voted against and senators who have yet to vote. Now more than ever we need to make our voices heard and fight for what is right.

Robert Aderholt (Ala.)

Rick Allen (Ga.)

Mark Amodei (Nev.)

Jodey Arrington (Texas)

Jim Baird (Ind.)

Troy Balderson (Ohio)

Jim Banks (Ind.)

Andy Barr (Ky.)

Jack Bergman (Mich.)

Stephanie Bice (Okla.)

Andy Biggs (Ariz.)

Gus Bilirakis (Fla.)

Dan Bishop (N.C.)

Lauren Boebert (Colo.)

Mike Bost (Ill.)

Kevin Brady (Texas)

Mo Brooks (Ala.)

Vern Buchanan (Fla.)

Ken Buck (Colo.)

Larry Bucshon (Ind.)

Ted Budd (N.C.)

Michael Burgess (Texas)

Jerry Carl (Ala.)

Buddy Carter (Ga.)

John Carter (Texas)

Madison Cawthorn (N.C.)

Steve Chabot (Ohio)

Ben Cline (Va.)

Michael Cloud (Texas)

Andrew Clyde (Texas)

Tom Cole (Okla.)

James Comer (Ky.)

Connie Conway (Calif.)

Rick Crawford (Ark.)

Dan Crenshaw (Texas)

Warren Davidson (Ohio)

Scott DesJarlais (Tenn.)

Byron Donalds (Fla.)

Jeff Duncan (S.C.)

Neal Dunn (Fla.)

Jake Ellzey (Texas)

Ron Estes (Kan.)

Pat Fallon (Texas)

Randy Feenstra (Iowa)

Drew Ferguson (Ga.)

Michelle Fischbach (Minn.)

Scott Fitzgerald (Wis.)

Chuck Fleischmann (Tenn.)

Mike Flood (Neb.)

Mayra Flores (Texas)

Virginia Foxx (N.C.)

Scott Franklin (Wis.)

Russ Fulcher (Idaho)

Matt Gaetz (Fla.)

Mike Gallagher (Wis.)

Bob Gibbs (Ohio)

Louie Gohmert (Texas)

Bob Good (Va.)

Lance Gooden (Texas)

Paul Gosar (Ariz.)

Kay Granger (Texas)

Garrett Graves (La.)

Sam Graves (Mo.)

Mark Green (Tenn.)

Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.)

Morgan Griffith (Va.)

Glenn Grothman (Wis.)

Michael Guest (Miss.)

Brett Guthrie (Ky.)

Andy Harris (Md.)

Diana Harshbarger (Tenn.)

Kevin Hern (Okla.)

Yvette Herrell (N.M.)

Jaime Herrera Beutler (Wash.)

Jody Hice (Ga.)

Clay Higgins (La.)

French Hill (Ark.)

Richard Hudson (N.C.)

Bill Huizenga (Mich.)

Ronny Jackson (Texas)

Mike Johnson (La.)

Bill Johnson (Ohio)

Dusty Johnson (S.D.)

Jim Jordan (Ohio)

John Joyce (Pa.)

Fred Keller (Pa.)

Trent Kelly (Miss.)

Mike Kelly (Pa.)

Young Kim (Calif.)

David Kustoff (Tenn.)

Darin LaHood (Ill.)

Doug LaMalfa (Calif.)

Doug Lamborn (Colo.)

Bob Latta (Ohio)

Jake LaTurner (Kan.)

Debbie Lesko (Ariz.)

Julia Letlow (La.)

Billy Long (Mo.)

Barry Loudermilk (Ga.)

Blaine Luetkemeyer (Mo.)

Tracey Mann (Kan.)

Thomas Massie (Ky.)

Kevin McCarthy (Calif.)

Mike McCaul (Texas)

Lisa McClain (Mich.)

Tom McClintock (Calif.)

Patrick McHenry (N.C.)

Mary Miller (Ill.)

John Moolenaar (N.C.)

Alex Mooney (W.Va.)

Barry Moore (Ala.)

Markwayne Mullin (Okla.)

Greg Murphy (N.C.)

Troy Nehls (Texas.)

Ralph Norman (S.C.)

Steven Palazzo (Miss.)

Greg Palmer (Ala.)

Greg Pence (Ind.)

August Pfluger (Texas)

Bill Posey (Fla.)

Guy Reschenthaler (Pa.)

Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.)

Mike Rogers (Ala.)

Harold Rogers (Ky.)

John Rose (Tenn.)

Matt Rosendale (Mont.)

David Rouzer (N.C.)

Chip Roy (Texas)

John Rutherford (Fla.)

Steve Scalise (La.)

David Schweikert (Ariz.)

Austin Scott (Ga.)

Pete Sessions (Texas)

Jason Smith (Mo.)

Adrian Smith (Neb.)

Chris Smith (N.J.)

Lloyd Smucker (Pa.)

Victoria Spartz (Ind.)

Pete Stauber (Minn.)

Michelle Steel (Calif.)

Greg Steube (Fla.)

Van Taylor (Texas)

Claudia Tenney (N.Y.)

Glenn Thompson (Pa.)

Thomas Tiffany (Wis.)

William Timmons (S.C.)

Beth Van Duyne (Texas)

Tim Walberg (Mich.)

Jackie Walorski (Ind.)

Randy Weber (Texas)

Daniel Webster (Fla.)

Brad Wenstrup (Ohio)

Bruce Westerman (Ark.)

Roger Williams (Texas)

Joe Wilson (S.C.)

Robert Wittman (Va.)

Steve Womack (Ark.)

List is via These 157 House Republicans Voted Against Protections For Same-Sex Marriage (yahoo.com)


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Author
Kimberly Terasaki
Kimberly Terasaki is a contributing writer for The Mary Sue. She has been writing articles for them since 2018, going on 5 years of working with this amazing team. Her interests include Star Wars, Marvel, DC, Horror, intersectional feminism, and fanfiction; some are interests she has held for decades, while others are more recent hobbies. She liked Ahsoka Tano before it was cool, will fight you about Rey being a “Mary Sue,” and is a Kamala Khan stan.