The controversial Respect for Marriage Act (H.R. 8404) had hurdled the Senate Tuesday with a 61-36 vote favoring it. Accordingly, President Joe Biden publicly vowed to sign the bill into law "promptly and proudly," a Tribune India report bared.
What the Bill Would Mean
When signed into law, the proposed legislation will enshrine in federal law all interracial and same-sex marriages. It would prompt states to deem legal same-sex marriages where they were officiated. However, states would not be obligated to allow same-sex weddings in their jurisdictions.
This win for the LGBTQ+ community came following recent attacks on community members, including the Club Q mass shooting that left five individuals dead and 25 others with gunshot wounds.
"Our community really needs a win, we have been through a lot. As a queer person who is married, I feel a sense of relief right now. I know my family is safe. It was more emotional than I expected," Tribune India quoted Kelly Robinson saying.
Robinson is the incoming Human Right Campaign head, a group that fights for LGBTQ+ concerns.
According to Biden, the bill's passing would guarantee young people identifying as members of the LGBTQ community they "will grow up knowing that they, too, can lead full, happy lives and build families of their own."
'Close to Home'
For some senators, the Senate vote is close to home.
Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) was seen emotionally hugging Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer as the votes were called. Baldwin, the bill's lead sponsor, was the first openly gay U.S. senator, the news outlet bared.
After the votes showed the bill was passed, Baldwin took to Twitter to express gratitude to interracial and same-sex couples who inspired the legislation.
"By living as your true selves, you changed the hearts and minds of people around you," Baldwin wrote.
Schumer, who said he had a 'harrowing talk' with his daughter and her wife when news broke of Chief Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg's death, called the passing of the bill "one of the happiest moments of my life."
The Bill's Journey
With support for the bill fully evident in the Senate, it will now go to the House for a final vote before it gets on President Biden's desk for his signature. The news outlet said the Democrats are not wasting time moving the landmark legislation while it has the majority in both houses of Congress.
One notable thing about the Senate passing of the bill was the support it got from the other side of the fence. The report said at least a dozen Republican senators supported the bill.
Following the Supreme Court's decision to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling, Justice Clarence Thomas hinted in her concurring opinion that the marriage rights of same-sex couples could soon be under fire. Roe v. Wade was a 1973 Supreme Court decision that gave women the power to undergo abortion as part of their reproductive health rights.
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