Senate Clears Procedural Hurdle To Advance Same-Sex Marriage Bill

Gay Men Exchanging Rings At Wedding Ceremony

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The Senate cleared a key procedural hurdle to advance a bill that would grant federal protection for same-sex marriages.

The Respect for Marriage Act easily passed with bipartisan support in a 62-37 vote. Twelve Republican Senators joined all 50 Democrats to vote in favor of the bill.

The bill does not force states to legalize same-sex marriages but would require them to recognize same-sex marriages from other states.

"Together with broad bipartisan support, the Senate will provide certainty to millions of Americans in loving marriages and enshrine into law the basic protections afforded all Americans while respecting our country's critical principle of religious liberty," said Arizona Senator Krysten Sinema.

Several Republicans, including Texas Senator Ted Cruz, have voiced opposition to the legislation.

"This bill, without a religious liberty protection, would have massive consequences across our country, weaponizing the Biden administration to go and target universities, K-12 schools, social services organizations, churches and strip them all of their tax status," Cruz said previously, according to USA Today. "That is enormously consequential."

The bill now heads to the floor of the Senate for a full debate. That vote could come later this week but may be held until after the Thanksgiving recess.

If the bill passes the Senate, it will then head back to the House, which passed a similar bill over the summer. If the House votes in favor of the legislation, it will then head to President Joe Biden's desk.

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