The Respect for Marriage Act, a measure proposed in an attempt to codify same-sex marriage into federal law passes the Senate by a margin of 61 to 36. 12 Republicans in total supported the bill.
The measure will now move onto the U.S. House of Representatives. In the final days of the Democrats controlling the House, the measure is expected to pass the House with no concern.
Same-sex marriage, which has been legal since June, 2015, has been rarely up for debate since it became legal federally. Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, all states have been required to honor out-of-state marriages, effectively striking down all bans on same-sex marriage at a time when it was considered a decision better left to individual states to make.
While the measure provides a level of security for the rights of the LGBTQ community, this move by a Democrat-controlled House and Senate is largely being seen as an attempt to save face for future elections; as Democrats never codified Roe V. Wade into law before the Supreme Court decision was revered in 2022. This move also comes days before Republicans take control of the House, along with the possibility of a 50-50 Senate.