Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.). Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images.
The Respect for Marriage Act, a bill that would codify protections for same-sex and interracial marriages, cleared a major procedural hurdle in the Senate on Wednesday after gaining enough support from Senate Republicans.
Why it matters: A motion to continue debate on the bill passed by a vote of 62 to 37, surpassing the 60 votes needed to break the Senate filibuster, suggesting the legislation has the support of the House.
What caught our attention: a dozen Senate Republicans voted to pass the bill along with all Democrats.
- Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine), Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) are involved in efforts to push the bill to a Republican vote and are expected to vote in favor of it .
- Others who voted in favor were Sens. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Shelley Moore Capito (RW.Va.), Cynthia Loomis (R- -Wyo.), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Todd Young (R-Indiana State) and Lisa Murkowski (Republican-Alaska).
- The bill has special support from the Mormon Church.
What’s next: If the amended bill passes the Senate, it will return to the House for another vote. If passed by both chambers, it will head to President Biden’s desk.
- Leading House Democrats, including LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus Chairman David Cicilline (DR.I.) and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), told Axios that the changes likely wouldn’t stop the House from passing the bill again.
background: Decisions such as Obergefell v. Hodges, in which Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas endorsed legalizing same-sex marriage in Dobbs v. Jackson, could be affected The bill was introduced in July after threats.
- The bill passed the House of Representatives later that month with the support of nearly 50 Republicans.
- In the Senate, progress on the bill has slowed as Republican senators demanded changes to clarify that it would not infringe on religious freedom.
- It was finally put on hold until after the Nov. 8 midterm elections, when two aides in both parties told Axios it was the best way to get Republican votes. On Monday, a bipartisan group of senators working on the bill announced an agreement on the changes.
what are they talking about: “Love is love, and Americans should have the right to marry the one they love,” President Biden said in a statement after the vote.
- Biden urged Congress to get the bill to his desk “swiftly” and said he would sign it into law.
This story has been updated with more details.