In a stunning display of bipartisan cooperation, landmark legislation to preserve same-sex marriages has passed the US Senate.
On Tuesday, the bill—which ensures that same-sex and interracial marriages are recognised by the federal government—was adopted 61-36, with backing from 12 Republicans.
The Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling that legalised gay marriage nationally is a sign of changing politics on same-sex unions, and the bill’s passing will provide some relief for the hundreds of thousands of couples who have wed since then.
Since the Supreme Court’s ruling in June overturning the legal right to an abortion—a decision that featured Justice Clarence Thomas’ concurring opinion suggesting same-sex marriage would also be in jeopardy—the bill has gained momentum.
After praising the bipartisan vote, President Joe Biden promised to sign the legislation “promptly and proudly” if it is approved by the House of Representatives, which the Republicans took back in the recent midterm elections.
According to him, the legislation will guarantee that LGBTQ children “grow up knowing that they, too, may lead full, happy lives and form families of their own.”
According to Chuck Schumer, leader of the Senate majority, the law was “long overdue” and represented a step in the country’s “difficult but inevitable march towards greater equality.”
No state will be required under the Act to permit same-sex marriage.
However, if the Supreme Court’s 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges ruling were to be overturned, states would have to recognise all marriages that were lawful where they were consummated and preserve present same-sex unions.
Thom Tillis and Richard Burr of North Carolina, Susan Collins of Maine, Rob Portman of Ohio, Todd Young of Indiana, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Mitt Romney of Utah, Joni Ernst of Iowa, Roy Blunt of Missouri, Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan of Alaska were among the Republicans who voted in favour of the bill.