The delay could give outside groups more time to rally Republicans against it. But backers hope the delay will give them extra time to find more GOP supporters.
WASHINGTON — Democrats are voting to protect same-sex and interracial marriages until after November’s midterm elections, withdrawing just days after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer vowed to take the Senate on the issue “in the coming years.” weeks” to be recorded.
The request for delay by senators who have been pushing for the legislation follows Wisconsin Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin, the lead senator campaigning on the bill, predicting they would be able to pass the 10 Republican Obtain votes they need to break a filibuster. But the group has struggled in recent days as some Republicans have raised concerns about whether it would protect the rights of religious institutions, business owners or others opposed to same-sex marriage.
The decision came after a meeting with Schumer on Thursday.
“Through bipartisan collaboration, we have created a common sense language that respects religious freedom and the diverse beliefs of Americans, while maintaining our view that marriage embodies the highest ideals of love, devotion and family,” said Baldwin and the Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine. Rob Portman of Ohio and Thom Tillis of North Carolina, along with Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, issued a statement: “We have requested additional time from Leader Schumer and appreciate that he has agreed. We are confident that when our bill goes to the Senate vote, we will have the bipartisan support to pass the bill.”
The delay significantly threatens the legislation and could give advocacy groups and other lawmakers who oppose the law more time to rally Republicans against it. But supporters hope the delay will give them time to find more GOP supporters and ease the political pressure ahead of the election.
Amid news of the delay, the White House reiterated that the administration is leaving the mechanics of legislation — like timing a vote — to the Senate.
“We believe that the Senate, like the American people, should find a consensus,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Thursday.
Baldwin and the other core group of supporters had worked with GOP senators who had concerns about religious freedom. They planned an amendment to make it clear that the legislation does not affect the rights of such individuals or companies already enshrined in law. The legislation instead requires the federal and state governments to recognize all marriages that were legal where they were performed, along with interracial marriages.
But some Republicans who had wavered on the bill weren’t on board yet.
Democrats and the small group of Republicans have disagreed following the Supreme Court decision that ruled Roe v. Wade and federal abortion laws were repealed, determined to protect same-sex marriage. Lawmakers fear the court’s verdict, and a unanimous opinion from Justice Clarence Thomas suggests a previous Supreme Court decision protecting same-sex marriage could be at risk.
“We all want to do this quickly,” Schumer said last week. “I hope there will be 10 Republicans who support it.”
The Senate’s push for the historic vote — and the openness of some Republicans to support it in an election year — reflects a major shift on the issue since the Obergefell v. Hodges of the Supreme Court in 2015, which legalized gay marriage nationwide. About 70% of US adults said same-sex partnerships should be legal in a Gallup poll published in June 2021.
The Same-Sex Marriage Protection Act passed the House of Representatives in July with the support of 47 Republicans — a larger-than-expected number that gave a boost to the Senate move. But as the weeks have gone by, more and more Republicans have been raising the issue of religious freedom.
Another proposed amendment to the bill would clarify that marriage is between two people, an attempt to deflect some far-right criticism that the legislation may support polygamy.
The legislation would repeal the Clinton-era Defense of Marriage Act and require states to recognize all marriages that were legal where they were performed. The new Respect for Marriage Act would also protect interracial marriages by requiring states to recognize legal marriages regardless of “gender, race, ethnicity or national origin”.
It’s not clear how many Republicans would support the bill. Along with Collins, Portman and Tillis, a fourth GOP senator, Alaskan Sen. Lisa Murkowski, has a history of supporting same-sex marriage. Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson, who is up for re-election this year, said he sees no “reason to fight back” but has spoken on both sides of the issue in recent weeks.
Most Republicans who oppose the law have said it’s simply unnecessary because the court ruling still stands. But others have gone further.
One group that was opposed, the conservative Alliance Defending Freedom, has pushed back on the legislation, with a blog post on its website calling it a “serious” threat.
“Broadly speaking, the Respect for Marriage Act is a way of making a statement about the sexual revolution and its ideology,” wrote Ryan Womack, who works for the group.
https://www.king5.com/article/news/politics/national-politics/same-sex-marriage-vote-pushed-until-after-elections/507-0dce33f5-8d89-437d-8d71-61063f3b52eb Same-sex marriage bill vote pushed until after midterm elections