By a 62-37 vote, a bill to safeguard same-sex marriages overcame a significant procedural hurdle after 12 Republican senators joined Democrats.
According to The Washington Post, the bill mandates that marriages are recognized as lawful under the rules of any one state by every other state.
The legislation nullifies the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman and gave states the right to annul unions that other states had recognized as legal. The Supreme Court declared the law to be unconstitutional in Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015, but it was still in effect at the time.
Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Rob Portman of Ohio, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Roy Blunt of Missouri, Richard Burr of North Carolina, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Dan Sullivan of Alaska, Todd Young of Indiana, Joni Ernst of Iowa, and Mitt Romney of Utah are among the 12 Senate Republicans who supported the bill, according to The Hill.
Republicans who opposed the bill included Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, according to ABC.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was one of many churches and religious organizations that supported the law, according to the Post.
According to a statement from the organization, “The doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints related to marriage between a man and a woman is well known and will remain unchanged.”
“We are grateful for the continuing efforts of those who work to ensure the Respect for Marriage Act includes appropriate religious freedom protections while respecting the law and preserving the rights of our LGBTQ brothers and sisters. We believe this approach is the way forward,” the statement stated.
According to The New York Times, 47 House Republicans voted with Democrats to pass the bill’s initial form when it passed the House during the summer.
The modified bill still needs Senate approval to become law. Following the Senate’s revisions, the bill returns to the House for approval. President Biden will then receive it and is expected to sign it.
The statute was created in response to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ suggestion that the 2015 decision to legalize homosexual marriage should also be reviewed in his judgment overturning the Roe v. Wade abortion decision.
The bill has been criticized as not being essential.
Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida stated, “I don’t know why we’re doing that bill; there’s no threat to its status in America,” according to the Times.
The bill, according to Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn, is an effort to terrify Americans into believing that “that somehow that decision by the Supreme Court is in jeopardy,” the Times reported. “I don’t believe it is.”
In one Senate amendment to the legislation, it was made clear that churches, educational institutions, and other nonprofit religious groups would not suffer consequences for refusing to recognize same-sex unions and that they could not be forced to perform same-sex weddings.
According to ABC, in addition to same-sex marriages, multiracial unions are also covered under the statute.
More on this story via The Western Journal