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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Reports: Senate to vote on marriage equality law Nov. 16
by Matt Simonette
2022-11-15

This article shared 547 times since Tue Nov 15, 2022
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The U.S. Senate will vote on a measure enshrining marriage equality into law Wednesday, according to reports.

Supporters of the measure, known as the Respect for Marriage Act, which aims to protect against an eventual repeal of the United States Supreme Court's Obergefell v. Hodges decision, are confident they have bipartisan support. A similar measure passed the House last summer but a new vote would be needed there for this Senate version.

"The Respect for Marriage Act is a needed step to provide millions of loving couples in same-sex and interracial marriages the certainty that they will continue to enjoy the freedoms, rights, and responsibilities afforded to all other marriages," said a joint statement issued by Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona), and Thom Tillis (R-NC).

According to the statement, the measure protects "all religious liberty and conscience protections available under the Constitution or Federal law, including but not limited to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and prevents this bill from being used to diminish or repeal any such protection."

The measure further spells out that the federal government will not recognize polygamous marriages.

After the Dobbs decision kicked reproductive-rights decisions backed to the state level, federal legislators crafted legislation that would protect the 2015 Obergefell decision that finally allowed marriage-equality to be recognized at the national level. In the Dobbs decision, Justice Clarence Thomas suggested that the Supreme Court, now with a 6-3 conservative majority, could see fit to revisit marriage-equality in the future.

Marriage equality was passed by the Illinois legislature, and signed into law by former Gov. Pat Quinn, in 2013.


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