Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a
Democrat from New York, on Monday announced that the Senate will vote
on a same-sex marriage bill in “coming weeks.”
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, ushering in nationwide marriage equality.
The legislation ran into turbulence in
the Senate as Republicans called for religious protections to be
added to the bill.
The Senate will “vote on the Respect
for Marriage Act in the coming weeks so that no American is
discriminated because of whom they love,” Schumer said in a
An aide to Senator Tammy Baldwin, a
Democrat from Wisconsin, told the Washington Blade that the
“first vote [on the bill] will be on Wednesday.”
Democrats argue that the bill is
necessary after the Supreme Court reversed federal abortion
protections in June. Like Roe, Obergefell was based on
a right to privacy.
LGBTQ rights organizations called on
the Senate to approve the legislation.
On Monday, GLAAD released an ad
featuring married gay dads Kent and Diego, who described how their
marriage – and family – could be in jeopardy without passage of
“When we fought for marriage
equality, we never thought that we would be at risk of having it
taken away,” they say. “Politicians are forgetting that there are
people behind the policies. We just refuse to step back anymore.”
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the
nation's largest LGBTQ rights advocate, said in a statement that it
was “time to pass the Respect for Marriage Act and we strongly urge
all Senators to do so.”
The Respect for Marriage Act would
strengthen protections on a federal level and require states to
recognize all legal out-of-state marriages.