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Senate Passes Same-Sex Marriage Bill With Support From 12 Republicans

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On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate passed the Respect for Marriage Act, which requires the federal government to recognize same-sex marriages that are legal in the state they took place.

The bill passed in a 61-36 vote, with the support of 12 Republicans. The bill will now move to the House of Representatives for a final vote, where it is expected to pass in the last days of Democrat control.

Oklahoma Senator James Langford (R), who proposed an amendment that would attempt to protect religious liberties but was rejected, warned that the bill does not include protections for religious organizations who choose not to provide those services or to “abandon their faith.”

“I encourage everyone in this body to ask a very simple question to themselves: is today about respecting the rights of all?” Langford said. “Or is it about silencing some?”

Democrat President Joe Biden released a statement responding to the Senate passing the bill, saying, “With today’s bipartisan Senate passage of the Respect for Marriage Act, the United States is on the brink of reaffirming a fundamental truth: love is love, and Americans should have the right to marry the person they love. For millions of Americans, this legislation will safeguard the rights and protections to which LGBTQI+ and interracial couples and their children are entitled. It will also ensure that, for generations to follow, LGBTQI+ youth will grow up knowing that they, too, can lead full, happy lives and build families of their own.”

“Importantly, the Senate’s passage of the Respect for Marriage Act is a bipartisan achievement,” the statement added. “I’m grateful to the determined Members of Congress — especially Senators Baldwin, Collins, Portman, Sinema, Tillis, and Feinstein — whose leadership has underscored that Republicans and Democrats together support the essential right of LGBTQI+ and interracial couples to marry. I look forward to welcoming them at the White House after the House passes this legislation and sends it to my desk, where I will promptly and proudly sign it into law.”

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