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Respect for Marriage Act vote coming this week

A bill codifying same-sex and interracial marriage in the United States could be sent to the White House for a signature before the end of the year.


Democratic U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin says signs are pointing to the House of Representatives to vote for the Respect for Marriage Act later this week, possibly as soon as Thursday morning. Baldwin, the first openly LGBT woman elected to the U.S. Senate, helped pen the bill that received bipartisan support when it passed 61-36. The bill repeals the Defense of Marriage Act that defined marriage as the union between a man and a woman and allowed states to not recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. The Supreme Court declared that law unconstitutional in 2013 before a different case legalized same-sex marriage in 2015. Comments made by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas following the decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade earlier this summer made marriage equality a major talking point for Democrats on the campaign trail this past fall. Baldwin says approving the measure will bring certainty and stability to same-sex couples.

Bipartisan support does not mean everyone agrees on the bill. Many Republicans have said amendments addressing religious liberty concerns do not go far enough. Some Democrats say the bill falls short because it does not require all states to allow same-sex marriages but merely to recognize them. Baldwin says the plan would be for President Joe Biden to sign the bill into law next week if passed by the House.


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