The Senate has passed a bill that will allow federal protection for same-sex marriages.
On Wednesday, the Senate passed the Respect For Marriage Act with a 62-37 vote. The legislation required 60 votes to break the filibuster and received support from every Senate Democrat and a dozen Republican members.
“Today, the Senate is taking a truly bold step forward in the march toward greater justice, greater equality, by advancing the Respect for Marriage Act,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said. “It’s a simple, narrowly tailored but exceedingly important piece of legislation that will do so much good for so many Americans. It will make our country a better, fairer place to live.”
The RFMA bill will repeal Bill Clinton’s Defense Of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman. The DOMA also allowed states to deny recognition of same-sex marriage.
However, in 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court found section 3 of the DOMA bill to be unconstitutional. They stated that the federal government could not discriminate against married gay couples by denying them federal protections.
Two years later, the Supreme Court decided to effectively grant constitutional rights to same-sex marriages and introduced the RFMA bill shortly after.
An earlier version of the bill was approved by the House back in July but was later revised to protect religious liberties. The bill states nonprofit religious organizations are not required to provide “any services, facilities or goods for the solemnization or celebration of a marriage.”
The latest version of the RFMA bill will return to the House for an additional vote. If passed, the bill will be sent to President Joe Biden for approval.