Senate Gay Marriage: Is Senate Passes a Bill to Protect Same-sex Marriage
The Respect for Marriage Act, which protects same-sex marriages, has been passed by the US Senate. Democrats are rushing to get it to Vice President Joe Biden so he can sign it into law before Republicans take over the House next year.
The bill must now be passed by the House. The majority leader, Steny Hoyer, said that this could happen as soon as Tuesday, December 6th. Earlier this year, almost 50 Republicans in the House supported the measure.
In the Senate, 12 Republicans were enough to get the bill past the filibuster and to Tuesday’s majority vote, which ended with a 61-36 vote.
Even though the Respect for Marriage Act wouldn’t make Obergefell v. Hodges, the 2015 Supreme Court decision that made same-sex marriage legal everywhere, a law, it would require states to recognize all marriages that were legal when they happened, even if they happened in another state. States would have to recognize legal marriages regardless of “sex, race, ethnicity, or national origin,” which would protect interracial marriages.
People have thought that same-sex marriage is in danger since June when the right to abortion was taken away by the conservative-controlled Supreme Court.
Then, the conservative justice Clarence Thomas wrote that other privacy-based rights, such as the right to marry someone of the same gender, could be looked at next.
Around 70% of the public supports same-sex marriage, which is a record high. However, the Movement Advancement Project, an LGBTQ+ advocacy group, says that if the Supreme Court did overturn the right, at least 29 states would be able to ban it.
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Before the vote on Tuesday, the US transportation secretary, Pete Buttigieg, said on Twitter, “Strange feeling to see something as basic and personal as the strength of your marriage up for debate on the Senate floor.
“But I’m hoping they’ll do something to protect millions of families, including ours, and I’m grateful for all the work that’s been done to get this important legislation ready to go.”
Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democratic senator from Rhode Island, said after the vote that the Respect for Marriage Act would stop the activist Supreme Court from taking away people’s right to get married. We say again what most Americans already know: everyone should be able to marry the person they love.
James Esseks, who runs the American Civil Liberties Union’s LGBTQ & HIV Rights Project, said that more needs to be done.
In a statement, he said, “LGBTQ+ families all over the country have been able to build their lives around their right to marriage equality for the past seven years.”
The Respect for Marriage Act will do a lot to protect this right from an increasingly radical Supreme Court, but LGBTQ+ rights are already being attacked all over the country.
“Lawmakers all over the country, including members of this Congress, have put transgender people’s safety, dignity, and access to health care in danger. We’re happy about the historic vote on this bill, but members of Congress need to fight like trans lives depend on it, because they do.
Thomas didn’t say anything about interracial marriage in his opinion about the abortion case. The black justice is married to the white conservative activist Ginni Thomas.
Mitch McConnell is the leader of the Republicans in the Senate. He is white. His wife, Elaine Chao, who used to be the secretary of transportation, is an Asian American. McConnell opposed the Respect for Marriage Act and voted against it.
On Tuesday, Biden, who as vice president famously supported same-sex marriage before his boss Barack Obama, said, “For millions of Americans, this bill will protect the rights and protections to which LGBTQ+ and interracial couples and their children are entitled.”
“It will also make sure that LGBTQ+ youth of future generations grow up knowing that they too can live full, happy lives and start their own families.”
Biden thanked senators for their “bipartisan achievement” and said that he “look[ed] forward to welcoming them at the White House after the House passes this legislation and sends it to my desk, where I will quickly and proudly sign it into law.”
On Monday, before a test vote, Chuck Schumer of New York, who is the leader of the Democrats in the Senate, praised Republicans who supported the measure.
He said, “Ten years ago, it would have been hard for all of us to imagine that both sides would talk about protecting the rights of same-sex married couples.”
Republicans argued for changes that they say won the support of religious groups like the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that still oppose same-sex marriage.
Thom Tillis of North Carolina told the Associated Press, “They see it as a step forward for religious freedom.”
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Tammy Baldwin, a Democrat from Wisconsin and the first openly gay senator, told the AP that the way some Republicans changed their minds reminded her “of the arc of the LBGTQ+ movement in the beginning, when people weren’t out and people only knew gay people through myths and stereotypes.