Senate pushes same-sex marriage vote to after midterms

Politics

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) speaks to reporters in the Senate Subway during a series of nomination votes on Thursday, September 8, 2022.

(NewsNation) — The lead Democratic negotiator for a bill that would safeguard same-sex marriage said Thursday that the Senate will postpone action on it until after the midterms, the Hill reported.

Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., chief sponsor of the bill, said she is still “very confident” the bill will pass, but it will be taken up after elections, according to Politico.

On Thursday, a bipartisan group of negotiators met to decide if they should release the text of an amendment designed to respond to GOP concerns that the legislation could put churches and other religious institutions at risk.

A vote on the Respect for Marriage Act had initially been expected sometime this month. Baldwin had previously said, according to The Hill, that she had wanted the legislation to come to the floor next week, even though it didn’t necessarily have enough votes to overcome a GOP filibuster.

Baldwin made her announcement postponing the Senate vote, The Hill wrote, shortly after Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., said the bill would be more likely to get the 10 Republican votes to overcome a filibuster after Election Day.

The act came as a response to the Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade and the federal right to an abortion. Lawmakers feared the court’s ruling, and a concurring opinion from Justice Clarence Thomas, meant the decision protecting same-sex marriage would be under threat.

The Respect for Marriage Act would repeal the Clinton-era Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as the union between one man and one woman. It also would require states to recognize interracial marriages.

In the House, the act was passed by a 267-157 vote, with 47 Republicans voting in favor.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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