The Senate passed a bill on Tuesday that would extend federal protections to same-sex couples. It's one step closer to becoming law.
The Senate passed the bill by a vote of 61 to 36. It will now go back to the House, where it will be up for amendments.
The bill does not provide legal recognition to same-sex marriages. Instead, it states that a marriage between two individuals is a valid and legally recognized union regardless of their sexual orientation. It does require all 50 states to recognize such marriages performed in states that have adopted full faith and credit laws. The legislation also repealed the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996.
The passage of the bill by the Senate ensures that the rights and freedoms of interracial and same-sex couples will not be taken away. “We are putting an end to the fear that these couples would lose their freedom,” said Senator Tammy Baldwin, who was one of the bill's sponsors.
The House passed the bill in the summer with the support of several Republican members. However, the Senate's process was delayed due to the concerns of the Republican party about religious freedom.
The Senate was able to pass the bill earlier this month after securing the necessary 60 votes. The bill's supporters were able to secure the necessary support from the Republicans after several senators, including Baldwin, Rob Portman, Susan Collins, and Thom Tillis, introduced an amendment that addressed concerns about religious freedom.
The amendment ensured that religious groups would not be forced to violate their religious beliefs. It also stated that the bill does not allow unions of more than two individuals. These changes will have to be reflected in the House's version before it can be sent to Biden.
Before the Senate took up the bill's procedural vote, the church of the Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint expressed its support for the amendment.
The Mormon church praised the Senate's passage of the bill, stating that it shows that the country is moving in the right direction. It also noted that the bill would help improve the relationships between people of different sexual orientations.
Three Republican amendments that aimed to address the concerns of religious freedom were also brought up for a vote. However, they were not able to pass. These amendments were introduced by Mike Lee, Marco Rubio, and James Lankford.
The bill was prompted by the Supreme Court's decision to remove Roe v. Wade, which was a case that had been regarded as one of the most significant cases in the history of the court. In his concurring opinion, Justice Thomas noted that the court's decision to overturn the federal abortion access guarantee should trigger a reassessment of the court's other substantive due process precedents.
According to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, the House will pass the bill next week.
The preceding is a summary of an article that originally appeared on Washington Examiner.