A vote in the U.S. Senate to enshrine same-sex marriage into federal law has been scheduled for Wednesday. The bipartisan group of U.S. Senators who have been working on passage of the Respect for Marriage Act say they have come to an agreement on amended language that will garner the required 60 votes for passage.
The Respect for Marriage Act is a legislative response by Democrats to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas who signaled that previous SCOTUS rulings on issues of marriage equality, LGBTQ rights and contraception should be “reconsidered” after Roe v. Wade was overturned.
A statement from the five senators – Democrats Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, and Republicans Susan Collins of Maine, Rob Portman of Ohio and Thom Tillis of North Carolina – said they have come up with “commonsense language to confirm that this legislation fully respects and protects Americans’ religious liberties and diverse beliefs, while leaving intact the core mission of the legislation to protect marriage equality.”
The Senate negotiators are Democrats Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, and Republicans Susan Collins of Maine, Rob Portman of Ohio and Thom Tillis of North Carolina. https://t.co/n7eiwL2d4P
— CBS News (@CBSNews) November 14, 2022
The new language makes clear nonprofit religious organizations will not be required to provide services, facilities or goods for the celebration of a same-sex marriage. The amendment also underscores religious liberty protections available under the Constitution and federal law, including the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Additionally, the legislation makes clear that the bill does not require or authorize the federal government to recognize polygamous marriages.
The bill would officially repeal the hideous Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibited the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages and allowed states to refrain from recognizing those performed in other states. But – the bill would not require a state to issue a marriage license contrary to state law.
The group says the new language has “has helped earn the broad, bipartisan support needed to pass our commonsense legislation into law.”
Following the group’s announcement, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer filed a motion to hold a procedural vote to advance the bill on Wednesday, according to CBS News.
“I hope for the sake of 10s of millions of Americans, that at least 10 Republicans will vote with us to protect marriage equality into law soon,” Schumer said in remarks from the Senate Floor. “The rights and dignity of millions of Americans depend on it.”
The measure passed in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives in July with 47 Republicans joining all Democrats.
With the Respect for Marriage Act:
I just took steps on the Senate floor to set up a first procedural vote for Wednesday on legislation to codify marriage equality into law.
No American should ever be discriminated against because of who they love.https://t.co/D2tPlyVNmc
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) November 14, 2022
BREAKING: Majority Leader Schumer is bringing the Respect for Marriage Act to a vote in the Senate.
We can’t wait any longer to safeguard marriage equality nationwide. We need to pass the Respect for Marriage Act.
— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) November 14, 2022