Senate Passes Vote To Push Marriage Equality Bill Forward



The Senate just voted for cloture for the Respect for Marriage Act in a 62-37 vote, advancing the bill to codify the federal government’s recognition of same-sex marriages and require states to recognize marriages performed in other states.


It will now be debated and possibly amended by the full Senate.

All Democrats voted to advance the bill, along with 12 Republican Senators: Roy Blunt (MO), Richard Burr (N.C.), Shelley Moore Capito (W.V.), Susan Collins (M.E.), Joni Ernst (I.A.), Cynthia Lummis (W.Y.), Lisa Murkowski of (A.K.), Rob Portman (O.H.), Dan Sullivan (A.K.), Mitt Romney (U.T.), Thom Tillis (N.C.), and Todd Young (IN).


The Respect for Marriage Act (or H.R. 8404) would require every state to recognize marriages performed in other states and repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. This 1996 law banned the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages. The bill would not require states that ban marriage equality from performing those marriages themselves, should they ban them if Obergefell v. Hodges, which legalized same-sex marriage in 2015, is overturned.


Proponents of the law argue that it’s necessary for the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, which shared some of the same legal reasoning as the Court’s decision in Obergefell. Justice Clarence Thomas also urged the Supreme Court to reconsider Obergefell now that Roe has been overturned, a sign that the Court may also be coming for same-sex marriage rights.


LGBTQ advocates have been pushing for the bill to pass before Republicans take control of the House next year. GLAAD ran an ad in support of the Respect for Marriage Act before the midterm elections.


Anti-LGBTQ advocates have also run ads opposing the bill. The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) ran an ad pressuring Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) to vote against it, and he was up for reelection this year.


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