Senate Advances Marriage Equality Bill

On Wednesday, the Senate voted to approve the proposal to make equality in marriage with religious protections a federal law in the United States.

“BIG NEWS: The Senate just voted to move forward on the Respect for Marriage Act,” Senate Majority Leader, Chuck Schumer said in a tweet.

Respect for Marriage Act had to get 60 votes in order to pass the upper House. That meant it required at least 10 Republican vote. The plan’s creators hoped that it would get the same level of support from Republicans after a bipartisan group made changes to the bill to preserve religious liberty.

The amendment “recognizes the importance of marriage, acknowledges that diverse beliefs and the people who hold them are due respect, and affirms that couples, including same-sex and interracial couples, deserve the dignity, stability and ongoing protection of marriage,”According to the bipartisan committee.

CBS News reports that the bill will now be brought back to the House. The House must approve the revised bill before it can be signed by President Biden.

Senators working together on a bipartisan committee released a statement Nov. 15 saying they are ready for their legislation to hit the Senate floor and be voted on.

Senators Tammy Baldwin, a Democrat representing Wisconsin, Republican Susan Collins of Maine, Republican Rob Portman of Ohio, Democrat Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, and Republican Thom Tillis of North Carolina, worked to create legislation in hopes to codify same-sex and interracial marriage, according to the statement.

“The Respect for Marriage Act is a needed step to provide millions of loving couples in same-sex and interracial marriages the certainty that they will continue to enjoy the freedoms, rights, and responsibilities afforded to all other marriages.”

An amendment to the legislation includes religious liberties, meaning that any non-profit religious organization will not be required to provide services, facilities, or goods for celebrating or for the solemnization of a marriage, the senators said.

It also safeguards the protections for religious liberty and conscience provided by the Constitution and federal law, such as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Additionally, it is made explicit that the amendment does not authorize the federal government from recognizing polygamy.

If this legislation gets codified, the federal government is required to recognize any marriage between two people if their marriage was valid in the state it was held. It would also ensure that the couple’s marriage is given full “faith and credit”According to the statement, regardless of race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.

“I want to make clear that passing this bill is not a theoretical exercise, but it is as real as it gets. When the Supreme Court overturned Roe, Justice Thomas argued that other rights, like the right to marriage equality enshrined in Obergefell, could come next,”According to congressional records, Schumer stated this.

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