Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has voted against the Respect for Marriage Act, which includes the protection of interracial marriages, despite being married to former U.S. Secretary for Transportation Elaine Chao, who is Taiwanese American.
McConnell, who was recently re-elected as leader of the Senate GOP on Wednesday, is married to Chao, who previously made history as the first woman of Asian heritage to be elected to a presidential cabinet. The Respect for Marriage Act was created to repeal the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which federally defined marriage between one man and one woman. The bill would require all states to recognize legal marriages where they were performed, regardless of “sex, race, ethnicity, or national origin.”
Following his vote against advancing the legislation, McConnell was criticized on social media by users who pointed to his relationship with Chao.
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“Mitch McConnell, a man in an interracial marriage, votes against protecting interracial marriage,” former Democratic congressional candidate Nina Turner tweeted.
“My guess is McConnell’s opposition has to do with same-sex marriage, not interracial marriage,” investigative reporter Brendan Kirby wrote.
Regardless of McConnell’s vote, the bill is set to pass the Senate this week after it received the 60 votes it needed to move forward. There were 12 Republican senators who joined Democrats in voting for the proposal in a 62-37 vote.