Senate Passes Bill to Protect Same-Sex Marriage Over GOP Opposition

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The Senate has officially passed a landmark legislation that would codify the Federal Protection for marriages of same-sex and interracial couples. Democrats secured enough votes to overcome the opposition from Republicans.

The Respect for Marriage Act was approved 61-36  with support from 12 GOP votes and all Democrats. This after three amendments that were offered by Republicans who opposed the Bill were quickly rejected. The measure is now set to return to the house for a final vote before I can officially go to President Joe Biden. The president has openly said that he looks forward to enacting it.

“With today’s bipartisan Senate passage of the Respect for Marriage Act, the United States is on the brink of reaffirming a fundamental truth: love is love, and Americans should have the right to marry the person they love,” Biden stated.

The Senate’s vote reflects the growing public support for all legal same-sex marriages, which according to Gallup tracking polls hit a new high of 71% back in June. This was up from 27% back in 1996  when Gallup initially began polling the number.

“We’re making a really positive difference in people’s lives by creating the certainty that their ability to protect their families will be lasting,” said the author of the bill, Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis. He is the first openly gay lawmaker elected to the Senate.

Respect for Marriage Act 

Baldwin won the votes of some Republicans by adding language in order to make it clear that religious organizations would not be required to perform same-sex marriages. He also noted that the federal government could not be required to protect Polygamous marriages. 

Senator Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming stated that backing the controversial bill has sparked several blowbacks. 

“My days since the first cloture vote on the Respect for Marriage Act as amended have involved a painful exercise in accepting admonishment and fairly brutal self-soul-searching — entirely avoidable, I might add, had I simply chosen to vote ‘no,’” she stated. “I, and many like me, have been vilified and despised by some who disagree with our beliefs. They do not withhold bitter invective. They use their own hateful speech to make sure that I, and others who believe as I do, that we are hated and despised by them.”

The legislation came after the Supreme Court majority overturned the right to an abortion, it sparked fears that marriage rights for LGBTQ member and interracial couples could be taken away as well. The bill would require the federal government to recognize marriages that were valid in the state where they were performed. It would also ensure full benefits for all marriages, “regardless of the couple’s sex, race, ethnicity, or national origin.”  But It would not require the state to issue a marriage license contrary to state law. If the bill does become a law in the Supreme Court rescinds the right to same-sex marriage, Americans could then go to another state and get married if it’s not legal in their own States. 

Read More: Lego Announces 1st LGBTQ+ Set Ahead of Pride Month: “Everyone is Awesome”

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