The Senate passed the Respect for Marriage Act 62-37 Wednesday with the support of 12 Republican senators. This pushed the legislation well beyond the 60-vote barrier after the language was changed. The new verbiage protects religious liberty. Should this legislation pass the House, as is likely, it would provide permanent protection for interracial and same-sex marriages.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) thrust the act forward on the schedule in order to pass it during the lame-duck session. The senator spoke about this “truly bold step” from the Senate floor, according to The Washington Post:
‘Today, the Senate is taking a truly bold step forward in the march toward greater justice, greater equality, by advancing the Respect for Marriage Act. It’s a simple, narrowly tailored but exceedingly important piece of legislation that will do so much good for so many Americans. It will make our country a better, fairer place to live.’
One reason the legislators pushed for the Respect for Marriage Act arose from what Supreme Court (SCOTUS) Justice Clarence Thomas wrote when the court overturned Roe v. Wade. He said he wanted the right to contraception and same-sex marriage overturned, the ACLU reported:
‘The push behind the Respect for Marriage Act is Justice Clarence Thomas’ concurring opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Supreme Court’s Mississippi abortion decision in which it overturned Roe v. Wade. Justice Thomas urged the court to overturn its rulings establishing a fundamental constitutional right to use contraception, the right of same-sex couples to marry, and a right to form intimate sexual relationships with other consenting adults. With the right to marry potentially at risk, our friends in Congress wanted to do something.’
Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) spoke about settled law in America as this law bypasses the ultra-conservative SCOTUS:
‘We’ve shown here through this legislation that these rights can coexist, religious freedom on the one hand, LGBTQ on the other hand. It is my hope that with the changes we’ve talked about today and we’ve all now agreed to, we can pass this legislation with the same kind of overwhelming bipartisan majority we saw in the Houses of Representatives and therefore settle this issue once and for all.’
The White House Budget Office released a statement that read:
‘The right to marriage confers vital legal protections, dignity, and full participation in our society. No person should face discrimination because of who they are or whom they love, and every married couple in the United States deserves the security of knowing that their marriage will be defended and respected.’
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints supported the bill after its language was changed. It released this statement:
‘We believe this approach is the way forward. As we work together to preserve the principles and practices of religious freedom together with the rights of LGBTQ individuals, much can be accomplished to heal relationships and foster greater understanding.’
The Republicans who voted to advance the bill are, according to CBS News:
- ‘Roy Blunt of Missouri
- Richard Burr of North Carolina
- Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia
- Susan Collins of Maine
- Joni Ernst of Iowa
- Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming
- Lisa Murkowski of Alaska
- Rob Portman of Ohio
- Mitt Romney of Utah
- Dan Sullivan of Alaska
- Thom Tillis of North Carolina
- Todd Young of Indiana’
The proposed legislation replaces the old Defense of Marriage Act and its restrictive language and codifies a new appropriate law.
The act passed the House of Representatives with remarkable bipartisan support last July, including 47 Republicans.
This Respect for Marriage Act must return to the House prior to it moving to President Joe Biden to sign into law.
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.
Christie writes Gloria Christie Reports & Three White Lions Substack newsletters and a Three White Lions podcast available on Apple, Spotify, etc. She is a political journalist for the liberal online newspaper The Bipartisan Report. Written in her own unique style with a twist of humor. Christie’s Mueller Report Adventures In Bite-Sizes a real-life compelling spy mystery (in progress). Find her here on Facebook. Or at Three White Lions her book on Amazon Kindle Vella and the Gloria Christie Three White Lions podcast on Apple, Spotify, etc.