The Senate passed a bill Tuesday night to protect same-sex and interracial marriage rights. It is one more step towards the enactment of a law that ensures that these unions are consecrated by federal law.
Democratic senators rushed to pass the bill while holding a majority in both houses of Congress. The House of Representatives has to vote in the next few days on the project and send it to President Joe Biden for his sanction.
Starting in January, Republicans will have a majority in the lower house.
The bill has gained momentum since a Supreme Court ruling in June that abolished the federal right to abortion and suggestions by Justice Clarence Thomas that same-sex marriage could meet the same fate.
Negotiations between senators from both parties resumed after 47 Republicans unexpectedly voted in favor of the House bill, sparking renewed optimism among supporters of the law.
The law would force states to recognize all marriages that were legal where they were performed and would protect interracial marriages by requiring states to recognize them regardless of “sex, race, ethnicity, or national origin.”
“The rights of all married couples will never be secured without proper protections under federal law, and that is why the Respect for Marriage Act is necessary,” Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, said on the floor on Monday.