Couples react to upcoming Senate vote on the Respect For Marriage Act

Columbia, SC (WOLO)  —Gavin and Matthew Smith got married this past May. Cassie Premo Steele and Susanne Kappler have been married for seven years now.

Both couples say the love they have for their spouse is immense. “Our marriage means the world to me,” said Matthew Smith.

“I would’ve never been sitting in front of a camera next to my husband talking about my marriage to a man. So my marriage to me means happiness. It means truth,” said Gavin Smith.

“We are here for each other, we’re meant for each other and we do things together,” said Kappler. “We’re each other’s best friends for sure,” said Premo Steele.

The Respect For Marriage Act passed last week with bipartisan support in the House of Representatives. The bill aims to codify same sex marriage nationwide and strengthen marriage equality protections.

But with comments like those of Senator Ted Cruz saying the decision on marriage equality made by the Supreme Court was clearly wrong when it was decided, and that the court overreached, the upcoming Senate vote on the bill leaves room for worry.  “So I worry. I worry that there will come a day where I’m married in one state and not another and what that does to our rights. I worry about the potential of suddenly not being married at all,” said Kappler.

Gavin Smith, a former administration official for President Trump, disagrees with Senator Cruz who said that marriage equality should be left up to the states. “So if you’re saying you want to revisit the Obergefell decision, you’re also saying that you want to revisit interracial marriage, and I think we can all agree that’s a really bad idea. It’s just wrong in general. It’s just morally wrong. But it’s also a really bad idea.”

“I don’t have a lot of hope for it though, because politics seems to be very partisan these days,” said Kappler.

Gavin Smith believes that the upcoming Senate vote is a chance for the Republican Party to fix past mistakes. “I see it as a reset for the Republican Party to say we might’ve gotten this wrong in the past, but let’s fix that.”

While there is no set date for a vote from the Senate, the couples say that most importantly, they will be there for each other. “Marriage is being with someone who always has your back,” said Premo Steele.

“(Marriage) truly is quite literally the most important and happy thing I’ve ever done in my life,” said Matthew Smith.

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