Senate passes bill to protect same-sex marriage
The Senate on Tuesday passed a bill to codify the right to same-sex and interracial marriage, with 12 Republicans joining Democrats to send the legislation to the House.
Why it matters: The Senate, with its 60-vote threshold, was the main obstacle to the bill’s passage, but it passed with a 61-36 vote. The House is expected to easily pass it before sending it to President Biden’s desk.
- Lawmakers crafted the legislation over the summer in response to an opinion from Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas that the court should reconsider Obergefell v. Hodges, which legalized same-sex marriage nationwide, among other landmark rulings.
- That opinion was a concurrence in the Dobbs v. Jackson ruling, which overturned the landmark abortion ruling Roe v. Wade.
Driving the news ... The 12 Republicans who voted in favor of the bill were:
- Roy Blunt (R-Mo.)
- Richard Burr (R-N.C.)
- Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.)
- Susan Collins (R-Maine)
- Joni Ernst (R-Iowa)
- Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.)
- Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)
- Rob Portman (R-Ohio)
- Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska)
- Mitt Romney (R-Utah)
- Thom Tillis (R-N.C.)
- Todd Young (R-Ind.).
Between the lines: The GOP senators who voted for the legislation — many from heavily Republican states — held firm despite pressure from conservatives.
- Several Republican amendments, aimed at preempting possible government retaliation against individuals and organizations over their views on marriage equality, failed in floor votes.
What’s next: Key House Democrats have told Axios that they are likely to green-light the bill, and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told reporters the House could consider it as early as next Tuesday.
- The bill passed the House in July with support from 47 House Republicans — but the Senate changed the language to clarify it doesn't infringe on religious freedom, meaning it requires another House vote.
Editor's note: This is a breaking news story. Check back for more updates.