Sen. Tammy Baldwin Photo by Senate Democrats via Flickr
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumber (D-N.Y.) has filed the Respect for Marriage Act, setting up the bill, which would enshrine marriage equality into federal law, for its first procedural vote on Wednesday.
Wisconsin’s Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin has played a key role in negotiating with Republicans in an effort to get the bill past the 60-vote threshold needed to overcome a Republican filibuster.
Baldwin, along with Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), said in a statement Monday the bill will protect the marriages of loving couples while addressing Republican concerns over religious liberty.
“The Respect for Marriage Act is a needed step to provide millions of loving couples in same-sex and interracial marriages the certainty that they will continue to enjoy the freedoms, rights, and responsibilities afforded to all other marriages,” the senators said in a joint statement.
“Through bipartisan collaboration, we’ve crafted commonsense language to confirm that this legislation fully respects and protects Americans’ religious liberties and diverse beliefs, while leaving intact the core mission of the legislation to protect marriage equality,” they continued. “We look forward to this legislation coming to the floor and are confident that this amendment has helped earn the broad, bipartisan support needed to pass our commonsense legislation into law.”
Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade this summer, concerns have mounted that the Court could next turn to the 2015 Obergefell decision which granted same sex couples the right to get married.
The U.S. House already passed the Respect for Marriage Act this summer with bipartisan support but Senate leadership and bill negotiators decided to wait until after the election in the hopes it would be easier to convince 10 Republican senators to sign on.
Baldwin, who was the first openly gay woman elected to both the House and Senate, wrote on Twitter that the Senate needed to pass the bill.
“We are going to get this done for loving families across America,” she said.
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