Senate Passes Landmark Legislation to Protect Same-Sex Marriages

Now the Senate sends the bill back to the House of Representatives, where it will be given the final stamp of approval.

Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

With a final vote of 61 to 36, the Senate on Tuesday approved legislation to codify protections for legal same-sex and interracial marriages.marking a historic victory for Democrats to secure the rights amid growing concern that a conservative majority on the Supreme Court could take them away.

The foregoing becomes relevant after the decision of the Supreme Court that abolished the “Roe v. Wade”, which since 1973 protected the right of women to be able to abort, so the Democrats rushed to protect same-sex marriage from any threat against it.

For this session, the Respect Marriage Act was largely expected to pass after it garnered essential support from 12 Republicans during a key test vote just before Thanksgiving, putting it on track for vote. President Joe Biden’s desk later this month.

The bill then heads to the House, which is expected to vote on it next week, as early as Tuesday, before Biden signs it..

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, welcomed the bill, which he said ensures that the rights of LGBTQ people will not be “trampled on.”

“In many ways, the history of the United States has been a difficult but inexorable march toward greater equality. Sometimes we have taken steps forward, other times, sadly, we have taken unsettling steps backwards, but today, after months of hard work, after many rounds of bipartisan talks, and after much doubt that we could get to this point, we are taking a momentous step toward greater justice for LGBTQ Americans,” Schumer said.

The Respect Marriage Act “would require the federal government to recognize a marriage between two people if the marriage was valid in the state where it was performed.”according to a summary of the bill’s sponsors, including Congress’s first openly bisexual woman in the Senate, Kyrsten Sinema.

The bill would not require any state to issue a marriage license contrary to its laws, but would require states to recognize legally granted marriages performed in other states, including same-sex and interracial unions.

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