Same-Sex Marriage Bill Passes Crucial Test Vote in Senate

dgordo

HR Legend
Gold Member
Nov 15, 2001
25,557
35,601
113
Chicago

A bill to ensure federal recognition of same-sex marriage rights passes a crucial test in the Senate.​

Democrats made the same-sex marriage bill one of their first major agenda items in the postelection session, moving quickly to enact it while their party still controls both chambers.

Senator Tammy Baldwin gestures while talking.

  • Nov. 16, 2022Updated 4:12 p.m. ET
The Senate on Wednesday took a crucial step toward passing landmark legislation to provide federal protections for same-sex marriages, as 12 Republicans joined Democrats to advance the Respect for Marriage Act, putting it on track to become law in the twilight of the Democratic-held Congress.

The 62-37 vote, which came only days after the midterm elections in which Democrats retained control of the Senate but were on track to lose the House to Republicans, was a rare and notable last gasp of bipartisanship by a lame duck Congress as lawmakers looked toward an era of political gridlock in a divided Washington.

It also signaled a remarkable shift in American politics and culture, demonstrating how same-sex marriage, once a politically divisive issue, has been so widely accepted in society that a law to protect the rights of same-sex couples across the country could gain decisive, bipartisan majorities in both the Senate and the House. Last summer, 47 House Republicans joined Democrats to pass a version of the bill.

Senator Chuck Schumer, the majority leader, said that passage of the legislation, now expected after Thanksgiving, would be “one of the true highlights of the year for this body” and “one of the more significant accomplishments of this Senate to date.”
Speaking on the Senate floor, Mr. Schumer noted that his daughter and her wife were expecting a baby in the spring and he wanted “them, and every one in a loving relationship, to live without the fear that their rights could one day be stripped away.”

Even as the test vote reflected bipartisan support for the measure, the vast majority of Republicans, including Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the minority leader, voted against it. Thirty-seven Senate Republicans voted no, illustrating that, while polling has found that more than 70 percent of Americans — including a majority of Republicans — support same-sex marriage, the issue remains politically untouchable for many G.O.P. lawmakers.
The bill would not require any state to allow same-sex couples to marry. But it would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which denied federal benefits to same-sex couples. The push to bring it up for a vote began over the summer, after Justice Clarence Thomas suggested in his opinion in the ruling that overturned the 50-year-old Roe v. Wade decision that established abortion rights that the court also “should reconsider” past rulings that established marriage equality and access to contraception.

Some Republicans balked at the move, arguing that marriage equality rights were not under any immediate threat and that there was no urgency to pass legislation to safeguard those protections.

But Senator Tammy Baldwin, Democrat of Wisconsin and the lead sponsor of the legislation, said Wednesday that gay people were “scared for good reason” and that the same legal arguments the conservative-leaning Supreme Court rested on to reverse Roe could just as easily be applied to other cases.

“The Supreme Court should not be in a position to undermine the stability of families with the stroke of a pen,” said Ms. Baldwin, the first openly gay woman to be elected to the House and the Senate, noting that Justice Thomas in his dissent “was essentially providing an open invitation to litigators across the country to bring their cases to the Supreme Court.”
Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine and one of the 12 Republican supporters of the bill, added that even without an imminent threat, “there is still value in ensuring that our federal laws reflect that same-sex and interracial couples have the right to have their marriages recognized regardless of where they live in this country.”

The successful vote on Wednesday marked an improbable outcome for a measure that was once regarded as a symbolic act by Democrats to show their support in the face of solid Republican opposition that would block it from clearing Congress.
Democrats had initially taken up the measure as an election-year maneuver to show voters that they were doing everything possible to protect same-sex marriage rights in the face of new threats from a conservative Supreme Court.
Instead, it passed in the House in July with 47 Republicans joining Democrats in favor, and a bipartisan group in the Senate began talks on a version that could draw enough Republican backing in that chamber to move forward.

They agreed to add language ensuring that churches, universities and other nonprofit religious organizations could not lose tax-exempt status or other benefits for refusing to recognize same-sex marriages and could not be required to provide services for the celebration of any marriage. They also added language to make clear that the bill does not require or authorize the federal government to recognize polygamous marriages.
The bill now returns to the House, which must pass the revised version before clearing it for President Biden’s signature.

The Republican Senators who ultimately voted for the measure on Wednesday were: Roy Blunt of Missouri, Richard Burr of North Carolina, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Susan Collins of Maine, Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, Rob Portman of Ohio, Dan Sullivan of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Joni Ernst of Iowa and Todd Young of Indiana.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Urohawk and Ree4

St. Louis Hawk

HR Legend
Gold Member
Feb 5, 2003
29,085
55,044
113
Grassley voted no

Does he know?

The 37 No:

Alabama - Shelby and Tuberville
Arkansas - Boozman and Cotton
Florida - Rubio and Scott
Idaho - Crapo and Risch
Indiana - Braun
Iowa - Grassley
Kansas - Marshall and Moran
Kentucky - McConnell and Paul
Louisiana - Cassidy and Kennedy
Mississippi - Hyde-Smith and Wicker
Missouri - Hawley
Montana - Daines
Nebraska - Fischer and Sasse
North Dakota - Cramer and Hoeven
Oklahoma - Inhofe and Lankford
Pennsylvania - Toomey
South Carolina - Graham and Scott
South Dakota - Rounds and Thune
Tennessee - Blackburn and Hagerty
Texas - Cornyn and Cruz
Utah - Lee
Wisconsin - Johnson
Wyoming - Barrasso
 

BelemNole

HR Legend
Mar 29, 2002
34,131
71,830
113
Does he know?

The 37 No:

Alabama - Shelby and Tuberville
Arkansas - Boozman and Cotton
Florida - Rubio and Scott
Idaho - Crapo and Risch
Indiana - Braun
Iowa - Grassley
Kansas - Marshall and Moran
Kentucky - McConnell and Paul
Louisiana - Cassidy and Kennedy
Mississippi - Hyde-Smith and Wicker
Missouri - Hawley
Montana - Daines
Nebraska - Fischer and Sasse
North Dakota - Cramer and Hoeven
Oklahoma - Inhofe and Lankford
Pennsylvania - Toomey
South Carolina - Graham and Scott
South Dakota - Rounds and Thune
Tennessee - Blackburn and Hagerty
Texas - Cornyn and Cruz
Utah - Lee
Wisconsin - Johnson
Wyoming - Barrasso
Sad old men.
 

Nole Lou

HR Heisman
Apr 5, 2002
5,222
11,046
113
This is the reverse version of what the Republicans pull on the Democrats all the time with like the bans on transgender teaching in schools. Join in the popular position, and you're defacto acknowledging a threat where you don't think there is one. Don't join in because there's no threat, and you're defacto in favor of the unpopular side.

Same thing here...it's very dubious that the marriages protected by this are actually under Supreme Court threat. Voting for it means that you are acknowledging they are. But voting against it means you want the Court to overrule interracial and gay marriage. Kudos to the Republicans smart enough to cross over and take this issue off the table. Although I'm sure it was well worked out as a caucus who could afford to cross over and who wanted to be on record the other way for the folks back home.

I am ambivalent of this particular legislation, but I am VERY much in the favor the Congress acting on this. Congress (both parties) have long abandoned their constitutional responsibility to make the law in favor of winning in court or empowering bureaucratic institutions. The current Supreme Court has been sending a pretty consistent message to lawmakers "This is your job, if you want this to be the law of the land, pass a law."

So good on Congress for actually, you know, passing a law. Sometimes we're going to get what we want, sometimes we won't, but THIS is the way it is supposed to work in the vast majority of cases. We had, what 50 years under Roe v. Wade, with each side having numerous presidents and majorities, without an attempt to codify an abortion policy, instead allowing its status to be held in place by an dubious Supreme Court decision.

Lessons should have been learned all around.
 

Huey Grey

HR King
Jan 15, 2013
50,523
73,960
113
This is the reverse version of what the Republicans pull on the Democrats all the time with like the bans on transgender teaching in schools. Join in the popular position, and you're defacto acknowledging a threat where you don't think there is one. Don't join in because there's no threat, and you're defacto in favor of the unpopular side.

Same thing here...it's very dubious that the marriages protected by this are actually under Supreme Court threat. Voting for it means that you are acknowledging they are. But voting against it means you want the Court to overrule interracial and gay marriage. Kudos to the Republicans smart enough to cross over and take this issue off the table. Although I'm sure it was well worked out as a caucus who could afford to cross over and who wanted to be on record the other way for the folks back home.

I am ambivalent of this particular legislation, but I am VERY much in the favor the Congress acting on this. Congress (both parties) have long abandoned their constitutional responsibility to make the law in favor of winning in court or empowering bureaucratic institutions. The current Supreme Court has been sending a pretty consistent message to lawmakers "This is your job, if you want this to be the law of the land, pass a law."

So good on Congress for actually, you know, passing a law. Sometimes we're going to get what we want, sometimes we won't, but THIS is the way it is supposed to work in the vast majority of cases. We had, what 50 years under Roe v. Wade, with each side having numerous presidents and majorities, without an attempt to codify an abortion policy, instead allowing its status to be held in place by an dubious Supreme Court decision.

Lessons should have been learned all around.
Absolutely gay marriage is under threat. Look up marriage laws in US Code. There is nothing protecting same sex marriage. It explicitly says between one man and one woman. The only thing protecting gay marriage, federally, is the court. But as Hobbs proved, that can all be whisked away in one morning of oral arguments.
 

lucas80

HR King
Gold Member
Jan 30, 2008
99,807
132,552
113
I am shocked by Joni's vote, too. I guess she's protecting the right to marry who she wants to in the future?