WASHINGTON (AP) — A law protecting same-sex and interracial marriages crossed a major hurdle in the Senate on Wednesday, with Congress taking a historic step to ensure such marriages are protected by federal law. take a step
Twelve Republicans voted to advance the bill, along with all Democrats. That means the final vote could take place as early as this week, or at the end of this month. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said a bill that would ensure unions were legally recognized under the law would help the Senate “fulfill the highest ideals” and protect marriage equality for all. said it was an opportunity.
“It will make our country a better and fairer place,” Schumer said, noting that his daughter and her wife are expecting a baby next year.
Senate Democrats are moving rapidly to pass legislation while the party still controls the House.Republicans win the majority in the House It’s Wednesday, and we’re unlikely to bring up this issue next year.
In a post-vote statement, President Joe Biden said he would sign the bill if it passed.
“Love is love, and Americans should have the right to marry who they love,” Biden said.
The bill has steadily gained momentum since the June Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade. and federal rights to abortion. In Justice Clarence Thomas’ opinion at the time, previous Supreme Court decisions protecting same-sex marriage It can also be threatened.
The law repeals the Clinton-era Defense of Marriage Act and requires states to recognize all marriages that were legal where they took place. The new Respect for Marriage Act also protects interracial marriages by requiring states to recognize legal marriages regardless of “gender, race, ethnicity or national origin.”
Congress has moved to protect same-sex marriage, and the 2015 Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges legalized same-sex marriage nationally, making it easier for the general public, especially Republicans. support is growing rapidly. A recent poll found that more than two-thirds of her citizens support same-sex marriage.
Still, many Republicans in Congress are reluctant to support the bill, and many say it is unnecessary while marriages are still protected by the courts. delayed Until the midterm elections are over, hopefully the political pressure on some potentially upset Republican senators will ease.
The amendment to the bill, negotiated by supporters to bring more Republicans on board, makes it clear that it will not affect the rights of individuals and businesses already enshrined in law. The reconciliation clarifies that marriage is between two people and is an effort to fend off far-right criticism that the law may favor polygamy.
Three Republican lawmakers expressed early support for the bill and lobbied their Republican colleagues to support it. Senator Susan Collins of Maine, Senator Tom Tillis of North Carolina, and Senator Rob Portman of Ohio. They argued that even if the courts did not invalidate them, there was still value in defending such marriage rights.
“Current federal law does not reflect the will and beliefs of the American people,” Portman said ahead of the vote. “It’s time for the Senate to settle the matter.”
In the end, nine Republican colleagues took part in the ballot, bringing the total to 12, providing enough votes needed to overcome the filibuster in the 50-50 Senate. Other Republicans who voted for the bill included Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina, Todd Young of Indiana, Sherry Moore Capito of West Virginia, Mitt Romney of Utah and Iowa’s Joni Ernst, Roy Brandt of Missouri, Cynthia Lumis of Wyoming, and Lisa. Alaska’s Markowski and Dan Sullivan.
The growing Republican support for the issue contrasts with a decade ago, when many Republicans were vocally opposed to same-sex marriage.the bill passed the House 47 Republicans supported it in the July ballot.
Tuesday, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints became the most recent conservative group to support the bill. In a statement, the Utah-based religion said the church’s doctrine continues to view homosexual relationships as contrary to God’s commandments, but upholds the rights of same-sex couples as long as they do not violate the religious group’s sexual rights. said to do. Trust them as they choose.
Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin was the first openly gay senator and a Democrat who has worked on gay rights issues for nearly 40 years, and many Republicans have spoken out on the issue. He said his newfound openness reminds him that “the arc of the LBGTQ movement is about to begin.” In the early days when people weren’t going out, people knew gay people by myths and stereotypes.
Baldwin said hearts and thoughts changed as more individuals and families became visible.
“And slowly the law has been enforced,” she said. “It’s history.”
Schumer said the issue is also personal.
“Passing the Respect Marriage Act is personal to many senators and their staff, myself included,” Schumer said. “My daughter and her wife are actually expecting a little baby in February. So getting this done is very important for many of us.”
Salt Lake City AP writer Sam Metz contributed to this report.