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GOP Lawmaker Attends Gay Son’s Wedding Days After Voting Against LGBTQ Marriage Protections

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Glenn Thompson, a GOP lawmaker, attended his gay son's wedding three days after voting against protections for same-sex marriages.

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On July 25 2022, a post to r/politics referenced an unnamed “GOP lawmaker” who apparently attended his gay son’s wedding — three days after voting against same-sex marriage:

GOP lawmaker attended gay son’s wedding 3 days after voting against same-sex marriage from politics

On the same date the r/politics post appeared, three similar posts appeared on Imgur. Those posts were titled “Shocked I tell you… shocked,” “They don’t hear themselves do they?,” and “Amazing”:

Amazing

All four of the posts cited a July 25 2022 NBC News article, “GOP lawmaker attended gay son’s wedding 3 days after voting against same-sex marriage.” It reported:

A Republican lawmaker attended his gay son’s wedding just three days after joining the majority of his GOP colleagues in voting against a House bill that would codify federal protections for same-sex marriage.

The gay son of Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Pa., confirmed to NBC News on [July 25 2022] that he “married the love of [his] life” on [July 22 2022] and that his “father was there.” NBC News is not publishing the names of the grooms, neither of whom is a public figure.

Thompson’s press secretary, Maddison Stone, also confirmed the congressman was in attendance.

“Congressman and Mrs. Thompson were thrilled to attend and celebrate their son’s marriage on Friday night [July 22 2022] as he began this new chapter in his life,” Stone said in an email, adding that the Thompsons are “very happy” to welcome their new son-in-law “into their family.”

NBC News reported that Gawker was the first to report the story. On July 21 2022, Gawker observed that Thompson had recently voted against same-sex marriage protections, adding:

This [vote] is curious in large part because one of Rep. Thompson’s three children is openly gay and is in fact planning to marry their longterm partner this very weekend (we are withholding their name, as they are not a public figure and did not return our request for comment).

It’s unclear whether Rep. Thompson plans to attend his own child’s wedding after voting against legislation that would protect their right to have one. The ceremony’s website claims the couple will be having a “private rehearsal dinner with [their] families,” but does not specify which members. A spokesperson for Rep. Thompson did not immediately get back to us about the apparent hypocrisy of Rep. Thompson’s vote. Either way, best of luck to the happy couple.

Both stories reported that the legislation was the Respect for Marriage Act. An American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) page about the legislation explained:

Why did the House of Representatives pass the Respect for Marriage Act?

The push behind the Respect for Marriage Act is Justice Clarence Thomas’ concurring opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Supreme Court’s Mississippi abortion decision in which it overturned Roe v. Wade. Justice Thomas urged the court to overturn its rulings establishing a fundamental constitutional right to use contraception, the right of same-sex couples to marry, and a right to form intimate sexual relationships with other consenting adults. With the right to marry potentially at risk, our friends in Congress wanted to do something.

The law garnered the most support ever for a pro-LGBTQ bill in Congress.

The bill passed the House with a large, bipartisan vote of 267-157, making it the most pro-LGBTQ vote in Congressional history. Forty-seven House Republicans voted yes, even in this supremely partisan and bitterly divided Congress, where conservatives are vigorously pushing anti-LGBTQ measures and rhetoric. In contrast, the Equality Act, the LGBTQ movement’s highest priority bill in Congress, which would expressly add LGBTQ people to the Civil Rights Act, passed the House a year ago with a vote of just 224-206, with only three Republicans voting in support. The much larger bipartisan support for the Respect for Marriage Act is a hopeful sign of potential progress to come.

The Respect for Marriage Act passed in the House on July 19 2022, with 267 votes in favor to 157 against the legislation. A vote breakdown on the House of Representatives website for House Resolution 8404 showed that Rep. Glenn Thompson had indeed voted against the measure (two other votes from representatives with the name “Thompson” were in favor).

On July 26 2022, BuzzFeed published “Listen To The Speech A Republican Lawmaker Gave At His Gay Son’s Wedding Days After Voting Against Marriage Equality,” with an edited audio version and transcript of the remarks that, they said, included most of Thompson’s speech (but eliding the names of Thompson’s son and son-in-law):

Wearing a black tuxedo and black bowtie, Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Glenn Thompson toasted his son and new son-in-law, both of whom sat before him, wearing wedding white blazers. Standing next to his wife, the member of Congress told the guests how “blessed” he felt to celebrate the men’s marriage and to welcome a new member into his family. Thompson said any parent hopes and prays that their child stays healthy, finds their way, and ultimately finds “that one true love so that they have the opportunity to experience that: someone to grow old with.”

“We love it when they find their one true love, especially when they become a part of our families then. That’s what we’re rooting for,” Thompson said, praising his son for his selection of a husband.

But as some in the crowd knew — and some would later learn — Thompson had just three days earlier voted against a bill that would codify federal protections for marriage equality. He was one of 157 House Republicans who voted against the Respect for Marriage Act, which acts as a failsafe in case the Supreme Court reverses itself on marriage equality — something LGBTQ activists fear is a very real possibility following the court’s overturning of abortion protections.

Several social media posts asserted Rep. Glenn Thompson, a Republican lawmaker from Pennsylvania, attended his gay son’s wedding three days after voting against protections for same-sex marriages. A representative for Thompson confirmed that he attended the July 21 2022 wedding of his son, whose name was typically redacted in news reports. Thompson voted against the Respect for Marriage act on July 19 2021 — three days prior to his son’s wedding.