Nadler scores victory with same-sex marriage bill

It was a long-sought win for Rep. Jerry Nadler.

Earlier this month, the House approved its Respect for Marriage Act to enshrine federal protections for same-sex couples.

Nadler had introduced the legislation for 13 years, targeting a decades-old law defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

“I got into politics because I never lost my childhood predisposition to say, ‘But that’s not fair,'” Nadler said of his advocacy for the bill.


What do you want to know

  • Nadler is fighting for his political life at home, battling a fellow veteran Democrat and committee chairman in next month’s must-win primary in New York’s 12th congressional district.
  • Nadler is fighting for his political life at home, battling a fellow veteran Democrat and committee chairman in next month’s primary in New York’s 12th congressional district.
  • Nadler chairs the House Judiciary Committee, where he pushed through bills reforming gun laws, decriminalizing marijuana and protecting same-sex marriage

Forty-seven House Republicans voted “yes” on the bill, including all but one of the New York GOP members.

Nadler told NY1 he could not have imagined many Republicans supporting the legislation when he first introduced it in 2009.

“The zeitgeist was not there,” he said.

The fate of the bill in the Senate is unclear. Ten Republican “yes” votes are needed to send him to the president’s office. Nadler urged Republicans on the fence to do “the right thing.”

The legislative victory comes as Nadler fights for his political life at home, battling a fellow veteran Democrat and committee chairman in next month’s primary in the heart of Manhattan.

After New York’s redistricting, Nadler will face Rep. Carolyn Maloney in the 12th District primary.

Maloney, a fellow Democrat who, like Nadler, has been in Congress for about three decades, also has a long history on LGBTQ issues. She fought for domestic partnerships as a city councilwoman and co-sponsored Nadler’s Honor Marriage Bill back in 2009.

“She could very well have been among the original co-sponsors,” Nadler said. “I would just say that it was me who took the lead all these years.”

Nadler chairs the House Judiciary Committee, where he pushed through bills reforming gun laws, decriminalize marijuanaand protect same-sex marriage. He also called for adding justices to the United States Supreme Court.

“This bill to increase the size of the Supreme Court was seen as very radical – an alternative – when it was introduced. It’s not considered so radical now,” he said.

Regarding Jan. 6, Nadler said it’s unclear whether the US Department of Justice was aggressive enough to investigate Donald Trump’s efforts as president to void the 2020 election. That’s because, says Nadler, much of the department’s work is done behind closed doors.

As for the former president, he is much more adamant, arguing that Donald Trump should be charged, Nalder said.

“You have to show that no one is above the law, as the attorney general said,” Nadler said.

As for his own re-election bid, Nadler fended off his main competitors.

On Maloney’s assertion that a man cannot be sent to do a woman’s job, Nadler said he would put his women’s rights case against anyone.

In response to challenger Suraj Patel’s call for new blood, he argued that his 30-year tenure and presidency gave New York a lot of clout on Capitol Hill.

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