Senate Advances Bill That Would Codify Supreme Court Ruling On Same-Sex Marriage Into Law

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The U.S. Senate has voted to advance a bill that would codify the Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage into law by protecting such unions as well as traditional interracial marriages under federal law.

Senators invoked cloture in a 62-37 vote to move the Respect for Marriage Act forward with the support of all 50 Democrat and 12 Republican members.

The GOP support allowed the bill to move forward to a final debate stage before a final vote would send it back to the House, where it was approved earlier this year, to vote on an amended version to ultimately pass it to the president’s desk to be signed into law.

The Christian Post explains that the Respect for Marriage Act would codify the 2015 Supreme Court decision Obergefell v. Hodges into federal law and repeal the unenforced Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996.

The bill would not force states to issue same-sex marriage certificates but would require that they give “full faith and credit to any public act, record, or judicial proceeding of any other State pertaining to a marriage between 2 individuals, on the basis of the sex, race, ethnicity, or national origin of those individuals.”

Thus the federal government would formally define marriage as being between two individuals rather than a man and a woman, at a time when the Biden administration is also mobilizing changes to Title IX that would extend its protections to LGBT and transgender individuals as well as women.

In the wake of this summer’s SCOTUS ruling overturning Roe v. Wade, concerns have arisen among proponents of same-sex marriage that the high court’s firm conservative majority would axe Obergefell next.

In his concurring opinion to the landmark Hobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Justice Clarence Thomas argued that the substantive due process on which Roe had been based was a “legal fiction” and suggested that the justices could “reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents” such as Obergefell.

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