12 Republicans Support Same-Sex Marriage in Key Senate Vote
A bill that would provide federal protection to same-sex marriages cleared a crucial hurdle in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday. Twelve Republican senators voted to advance the bill—enough to remove the possibility of a filibuster.
The 62–37 vote sets up the Respect for Marriage Act to easily pass the Senate in the coming days, likely ensuring that the bill will make it to President Joe Biden’s desk before the end of the lame-duck session and before Republicans take control of the House of Representatives in January. The bill passed the House in July with broad bipartisan support.
NEWS: 62-37, Senate votes to defeat a filibuster and advance the Respect For Marriage Act to codify federal protections for same-sex marriage.
This puts it on a glide path to passage.
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) November 16, 2022
Wednesday’s vote was not merely a procedural victory for the bill, but a signal about the shifting cultural norms surrounding same-sex marriage that have finally filtered their way into the political realm. As Reason‘s Scott Shackford explained earlier this week:
Same-sex marriage recognition is legal across the United States, but it’s the result of two Supreme Court decisions: United States v. Windsor from 2013, and Obergefell v. Hodges from 2015. The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), passed by Congress in 1996 and signed by then-President Bill Clinton, prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriages performed by states. Even though it’s unenforceable, it’s still currently on the books.
Cut that ’90s nostalgia. In about a quarter century, we’ve gone from having a Democratic president sign a bipartisan bill to ban federal recognition of same-sex marriage to having a dozen Republican senators back an effort to permanently ensure equal protections under federal law for same-sex unions. That’s not a huge surprise if you pay attention to the polling—seven in 10 Americans believe same-sex marriage should be legal, according to Gallup—but it still represents a significant moment in the political fight to advance liberty.
Sen. Mitt Romney (R–Utah), one of the dozen Republicans to support the bill in Wednesday’s vote, said in a statement that it “provides important protections for religious liberty.”
“While I believe in traditional marriage, Obergefell is and has been the law of the land upon which LGBTQ individuals have relied,” Romney said in that statement. “This legislation provides certainty to many LGBTQ Americans, and it signals that Congress—and I—esteem and love all of our fellow Americans equally.”
The cloture vote on the motion to proceed on the bill that codifies the right to same-sex marriage and interracial marriage passes with support from 12 Republicans:
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