In a landmark bipartisan vote, the Senate has passed the Respect for Marriage Act, a legislation that protects same-sex and interracial marriage.
The Bill was passed by a final 61-36 vote.
All members of the Democratic caucus and 12 Republican Senators, who backed the revised version of the bill that bypassed a potential filibuster earlier this month, voted in favor.
The legislation must be approved by the House of Representatives so that it will go to the President to sign into law.
The House is expected to pass the bill in this lame duck session before Republicans take control of it in January.
The Respect for Marriage Act would require the federal government to recognize a marriage between two individuals if the marriage was valid in the state where it was performed. The bill would guarantee that valid marriages between two individuals are given full faith and credit, regardless of the couple’s sex, race, ethnicity, or national origin.
However, the bill would not require a State to issue a marriage license contrary to state law.
The bill’s sponsors worked with their Senate colleagues and stakeholders to develop an amendment to confirm that the bill does not recognize polygamous unions, and has no negative impact on religious liberty and conscience protections.
Non-profit religious organizations are exempt from providing “any services, facilities, or goods for the solemnization or celebration of a marriage.”
For millions of Americans, this legislation will safeguard the rights and protections to which LGBTQI+ and interracial couples and their children are entitled, according to President Joe Biden.
“The Senate’s passage of the Respect for Marriage Act is a bipartisan achievement”, he added.
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