In what is being billed a “landmark legislation,” the U.S. Senate passed a bill that would codify federal protection for marriages of same-sex and interracial couples.
The Respect for Marriage Act, which critics might say is a political act in search of a problem, passed 61-36, with 12 Republicans joining with Democrats after a filibuster was defeated and three amendments offered by GOP senators who oppose the bill were rejected, NBC News reported.
The legislation returns to the House for a final vote before it goes to President Joe Biden’s desk, where a signature is certain — the measure is a lock to pass in the lame duck session of the Democrat-controlled House, a swan song for Speaker Nancy Pelosi who is surrendering her role in leadership in the new Congress.
“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,” Biden said in a statement.
Of course, the Supreme Court has already rejected race-based marriage laws and has ruled that people can marry who they love. The Respect for Marriage Act only affirms trumped up allegations of racism and bigotry regularly leveled at Republicans.
As for the 12 virtue-signaling GOP senators who helped set up Pelosi’s coming swan song, it included the usual suspects. Liberal Republican Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), and Mitt Romney (Utah), led the way.
They were joined by equally squishy Sens. Rob Portman (Ohio), Thom Tillis (N.C.), Roy Blunt (Mo.), Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.), Richard Burr (N.C.), Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.), Dan Sullivan (Alaska), Joni Ernst (Iowa) and Todd Young (Ind.).
Collins, Portman and Tillis served as lead negotiators for the GOP, with the left-leaning senator from Maine celebrating the passage of “our bill” on Twitter:
Tonight, the Senate took a historic step to help prevent discrimination, promote equality and protect the rights of all Americans by passing the Respect for Marriage Act that @SenatorBaldwin and I authored. Our bill would help ensure everyone is treated with respect and dignity.
— Sen. Susan Collins (@SenatorCollins) November 29, 2022
“While I believe in traditional marriage, Obergefell is and has been the law of the land upon which LGBTQ individuals have relied. This legislation provides certainty to many LGBTQ Americans, and it signals that Congress — and I — esteem and love all of our fellow Americans equally,” Romney said in a statement
“My days since the first cloture vote on the Respect for Marriage Act as amended have involved a painful exercise in accepting admonishment and fairly brutal self-soul-searching — entirely avoidable, I might add, had I simply chosen to vote ‘no,’” Lummis said on the Senate floor, according to NBC.
“I, and many like me, have been vilified and despised by some who disagree with our beliefs,” she added. “They do not withhold bitter invective. They use their own hateful speech to make sure that I, and others who believe as I do, that we are hated and despised by them.”
With Republicans like this, who needs Democrats.
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