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Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 65
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Location: Long Island, New York

16 Nov 2022, 6:53 pm

Same-sex marriage protections clear critical Senate hurdle

The Senate on Wednesday narrowly advanced legislation to protect same-sex marriage, sending it on to near-certain passage.

In a 62-37 vote, 12 Republicans voted with all Democrats to move forward on the bill, after negotiators reached a bipartisan deal to include protections for religious liberty. The vote on final passage could occur as soon as this week.

Headed into the floor vote, only a handful of Republicans, including Sens. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) publicly committed to voting for the modified legislation.

Wednesday’s vote showed Majority Leader Chuck Schumer might get what he hoped for when he delayed the bill to protect same-sex marriage rights from coming to the floor in September, agreeing to Republican requests that the chamber take it up after the election.

Some Democrats feared they were being played — convinced to take pressure off the opposing party only to have the GOP tank the legislation later. But negotiators bet that waiting would help solidify support and allow senators to vote without considering the midterms.

“I made the choice to trust the members who have worked so hard on this legislation and wait a little bit longer, in order to give the bipartisan process a chance to play out,” Schumer said ahead of the vote. “No one — no one — in a same-sex marriage should have to worry about whether or not their marriage will be invalidated in the future. They deserve peace of mind, knowing their rights will always be protected under the law.”

Baldwin, along with Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) were the lead Democratic negotiators, while Collins worked with Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) to shore up GOP votes.

During the vote, Baldwin barely stepped more than three feet away from the clerk’s desk. Sinema split her time between the GOP cloakroom and the floor, where she closely watched the tally. Collins at one point joked to Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) after he voted no: “you could have surprised everybody!”

While the House passed its same-sex marriage bill in July with support from nearly 50 House Republicans, the process in the Senate has taken more time amid GOP concerns about religious liberty. If the Senate does pass its version, the legislation will need another vote of approval from the House to head to President Joe Biden's desk.

The Senate bill would ensure that the federal government recognize a same-sex marriage if it was valid in the state it took place and couple moved to a state that does not recognize it. That would also apply to interracial marriage. It also would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act signed in 1996, which defined marriage as between one man and one woman under federal laws.

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Joined: 21 Sep 2019
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16 Nov 2022, 7:58 pm

Wow…. I hope this bill gets the attention it deserves … this needed to be done long ago . People need to accept people as people regardless , I feel ! 8O

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