The Senate has moved to pass a historic bill codifying federal protections for same-sex marriage into law.
On Wednesday, senators voted 62-37 vote in the first key test vote to start formal debate on the bill.
The Senate will now vote on the bill sometime after thanksgiving.
The House passed a bill earlier this year, so after passing the Senate, the final version will become law when Democrat President Joe Biden signs it.
The legislation, which guarantees recognition of same-sex marriages across state lines and by the federal government, was moved forward today on a procedural vote with support from 62 senators.
12 Republicans joined with the Democrats to move the bill forward.
“Individuals in same-sex marriages and interracial marriages need and deserve the confidence and the certainty that their marriages are legal and will remain legal,” Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) said.
“These loving couples should be guaranteed the same rights and freedoms as every other marriage.”
“This may well be the first time there is a standalone bill to affirm legal rights for same-sex couples,” says Jenny Pizer, the chief legal officer for Lambda Legal, said.
“It’s a very important moment and it’s about mitigating the harms that the Supreme Court might do.”
“I know passing the Respect for Marriage Act is as personal as it gets for many senators and their staffs, myself included,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said earlier.
Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), whose son came out to him as gay several years ago, said the bill was about giving people “security in their marriages.”
“It’s important to give people comfort that they won’t lose their rights as they move from state to state,” he said.
“It’s a pretty simple bill.”
BREAKING: Senate passes key procedural vote to pass landmark legislation protecting same-sex marriage, setting the measure on a track to pass as early as Thursday. https://t.co/U6Etxc8rmC
— ABC News (@ABC) November 16, 2022
Republican senators who voted yes:
- Blunt (R-MO)
- Burr (R-NC)
- Capito (R-WV)
- Collins (R-ME)
- Lummis (R-WY)
- Portman (R-OH)
- Romney (R-UT)
- Sullivan (R-AK)
- Tillis (R-NC)
- Ernst (R-IA)
- Young (R-IN)
- Murkowski (R-AK)
BREAKING: Senate votes 62-37 to break filibuster on bill to codify same-sex marriage into law:
GOP senators who voted yes:
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) November 16, 2022