Senate To Vote On Bill Protecting Gay Marriage At The Federal Level

Justine Brooke Murray 

Senate Democrats are beginning the two month countdown to November’s midterms by prioritizing their efforts to pass a bill that protects gay marriage on the federal level, which gained an “eye opener” number of support among 47 House Republicans, but needs at least ten GOP votes to pass in the Senate, according to the Hill.

Senate Democrats are kicking off the two month countdown to November’s midterms by prioritizing their efforts to pass the Respect for Marriage Act, which prohibits state officials from refusing to recognize out-of-state marriages on the basis of sex, race or ethnicity, The Hill reported. The act already passed in the House with support from 47 Republicans, but only has three public GOP endorsements so far out of ten required votes to overcome a filibuster.

The new act would repeal the Defense of Marriage act, legislation signed by former President Bill Clinton in 1996 defining marriage as “only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife.” It would also allow the attorney general to “undertake law enforcement actions and giving individuals harmed by a violation of the proposed law a private right of action.”

Three Republican senators have openly expressed support for the bill, including its GOP sponsors, Maine Sen. Susan Collins and Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, according to the Hill. Portman called this “an issue that many Americans, regardless of political affiliation, has been resolved.”

North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis told reporters that he “probably will” vote to pass the legislation.

Both Democratic Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin and Sen. Mitt Romney have cited protecting religious freedom as part of the bill, in order to “build more support with Republicans,” the Hill reported.

“We will have a vote on marriage equality,” Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer told reporters last month when asked what bills are expected in September.

He did not give details on when a vote would occur.

Collins, Portman and Tillis did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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