The Senate passed bipartisan legislation on Tuesday, November 29 to strengthen protections for same-sex unions, marking a remarkable move in national politics on the subject and providing some respite to the hundreds of thousands of same-sex couples who have wed since the Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling making gay marriage legal nationwide, FOX 2 News Detroit reported.
The measure, which would make same-sex and interracial marriages legal under federal law, was adopted 61-36 on Tuesday, with 12 Republicans voting in favor. The law, according to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, has been “a long time coming” and marks a step in the country’s “difficult but inevitable march towards greater equality,” according to the article.
While the Democratic Party continues to retain the majority in both chambers of Congress, the party is shifting swiftly. For a final vote, the proposal is set to go before the House.
If the bill is approved by the House, President Joe Biden applauded the bipartisan vote and promised to sign it “promptly and proudly.” LGBTQ children “will grow up knowing that they, too, can lead full, happy lives and form families of their own,” he claimed in the article.
Since the Supreme Court’s decision in June to reverse the federal right to an abortion—a decision that featured Justice Clarence Thomas’ concurring opinion suggesting same-sex marriage would also be in jeopardy—the bill has steadily gathered support.
This summer, when 47 Republicans unexpectedly voted in favor of a House plan, bipartisan Senate deliberations gained momentum and new hope.
No state would be required by the legislation to permit same-sex marriage. However, if the Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges ruling from 2015 were to be overturned, states would be required to recognize all marriages that were lawful where they were performed and safeguard current same-sex unions. After years of vehement partisan disagreement on the subject, the astonishing bipartisan support is proof of societal transformation.
“Our community really needs a win, we have been through a lot,” said Kelley Robinson, the incoming president of Human Rights Campaign, LGBTQ advocate, in the article. “As a queer person who is married, I feel a sense of relief right now. I know my family is safe.”
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