Respect For Marriage Act: Senate Passes Same-sex Marriage Bill | Duduspree FM Radio
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By Cypher Ilerioluwa

Duduspree News, Texas

The US Senate has passed a landmark bipartisan bill to protect same-sex and interracial marriage.

The legislation now goes back to the House of Representatives, which is expected to approve it and send it to President Biden.

Supporters of the bill hope to pass it before Republicans take control of the House in January.

The bill, however, does not set a national requirement that all states must legalise same-sex marriage.

The bill gained traction in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in June of this year that overturned the federal right to an abortion.

LGBT advocates fear that same-sex marriage could also come under threat in the coming months.

Tuesday’s vote tally was 61 to 36, with 12 Republicans voting in favour.

The legislation gained support from a number of Republican senators after it was amended to include provisions protecting religious freedoms.

The bill aims to shore up same-sex marriage rights in federal law, though such partnerships are still protected nationwide under a prior Supreme Court ruling.

What does the Respect for Marriage Act protect?

The Respect for Marriage Act would serve as a stopgap if constitutional rights to same-sex marriage are diminished or struck down by the Supreme Court in the future.

Should that occur, the issue of marriage could potentially revert back to the states, many of which still have same-sex marriage bans or restrictions on the books.

The new bill officially repeals the Defense of Marriage Act, a 1996 law that specifically defined marriage as only existing between a man and a woman. The top court ruled the law was unconstitutional in 2013.

The Senate bill also requires states to recognise valid same-sex marriages that took place in other states, and ensures federal benefits are extended to married same-sex couples.

The vote comes after months of bipartisan negotiations, and this Senate vote was held after the midterm elections, taking the pressure off some lawmakers.

A previous version passed the House of Representatives earlier this year. While some Republicans crossed the aisle to pass the Senate and House bills, many in the party still do not support the legislation.

Obergefell v Hodges and the Supreme Court

The US Supreme Court established national protections for same-sex marriage in 2015’s historic Obergefell v Hodges decision.

The ruling struck down existing state bans on gay marriage, giving same-sex partners the right to marry across the US and extending them the same legal rights and benefits enjoyed by heterosexual married couples.

The current Supreme Court has a more conservative balance, and concern over marriage rights became front and centre when the bench struck down the constitutional right to an abortion in the Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization case earlier this year.

In that ruling, a conservative justice, Clarence Thomas, also suggested that the precedent underpinning key decisions – including, it was implied, the rights to same-sex marriage and contraception – could be challenged.

A July 2022 Gallup poll found that 71% of Americans supported same-sex marriage.

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Cypher Ilerioluwa is a skilled and experienced professional in social media management, blogging, content creation, animation and web design.

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