Senate Passes Bill Protecting Same-Sex Marriage

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from The Wall Street Journal,

Measure will have to pass the House before heading to President Biden’s desk

The Senate passed landmark legislation recognizing Americans’ access to same-sex marriage, codifying rights that were established in a 2015 Supreme Court ruling.

Lawmakers voted 61 to 36 to approve the legislation, which is intended to solidify the ability of same-sex and interracial couples to get married and requires states to recognize the marriages.

The vote shows how a once politically divisive issue now draws bipartisan support despite continued opposition from some social conservatives. Supporters said the measure marks the most significant gay-rights measure to pass in the Senate since lawmakers agreed to repeal the U.S. military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in 2010, which had required service members to keep their sexual orientation to themselves.

A dozen Republicans joined Democrats to vote in favor of the legislation, giving it enough support to exceed the 60-vote requirement to pass.

The proposal still needs approval from House lawmakers, who passed a similar bill earlier this year and are expected to vote on the measure next week. President Biden has said that he will sign the legislation into law.

Some Republican lawmakers have said same-sex marriage wasn’t at risk and the bill was unnecessary, while also raising concerns about religious rights.

“There is no existing threat to same-sex marriage,” said Sen. Mike Lee (R., Utah) on Tuesday on the Senate floor. “On the other hand, we have current real, sustained, ongoing assaults on religious freedom.”

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