A Senate bill that seeks to protect
same-sex marriage might be added to a must-pass budget bill.
Senate Democrats are considering the
move as they return to work from August recess.
The Respect for Marriage Act cleared
the House in July with the support of 47 Republicans. It would codify
the Supreme Court's 2015 ruling in Obergefell that struck down
laws and constitutional amendments that defined marriage as a
heterosexual union and ushered in nationwide marriage equality.
Senior Senate Democrats are considering
adding the marriage bill to a continuing resolution to fund the
As the year winds down, the move, which
still requires 10 Republican votes, would quicken the pace of
passage. Supporters would like to see passage of the marriage bill
before the November general election.
Four Senate Republicans have signaled
their support for the bill, including Susan Collins of Maine; Rob
Portman of Ohio; Thom Tillis of North Carolina; and Ron Johnson of
Wisconsin. Johnson's support, however, has been weak, with the
senator recently calling for an amendment for religious
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer
said in August that “we will have a vote on it. Not giving you a
A Senate Democratic aide characterized
the idea of linking the two measures as a route of “last resort.”
“[A]s of now, the coalition that is
supporting the bill [is] still working with colleagues to find the 10
Republican votes, and we're confident we'll be able to,” the aide
told the Washington