U.S. Senate to consider Respect for Marriage Act Wednesday

The United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. (Image by MotionStudios from Pixabay)

Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Monday filed the Respect for Marriage Act with a vote on Wednesday, the Washington Post reported.

The Respect for Marriage Act would codify marriage equality in the United States. It was passed by the U.S. House in July.

The bill was introduced after Roe v. Wade was overturned this past summer. Roe was one of the precedents used to decide Obergfell v. Hodges, which legalized marriage equality. With Roe gone, many became secured that marriage was at risk, especially since Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas had said the decision should be revisited after Roe.

The Post reported that it would also repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. That law has remained on the books despite being declared unconstitutional by the Obergefell v. Hodges ruling.

A Senate vote was delayed until after the midterms at the request of Republican senators.

Control of the U.S. Senate has been called for Democrats, creating an opening during the lame duck session to get 10 Republican votes to stop a filibuster and pass the bill.

LGBTQ organizations are endorsing the bill and calling on supporters to call on their senators to pass the bill. Equality Illinois, Missouri’s PROMO, the Trevor Project and the Campaign for Southern Equality have all called on people to contact senators to vote yes on the bill.

The right wing is not happy about this. Laurie Higgins, cultural affairs writer for the Illinois Family Institute (IFI), railed against the bill. In a column on the IFI website, she called the bill an “attack” on traditional marriage and state’s rights. The column also attacked Republican senators who have supported the bill including Susan Collins (R-Maine), Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.). She noted that U.S. Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R-Channahon) and Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville) both voted for the bill when it passed the House. Neither Kinzinger nor Davis are returning to office in January.

Illinois’ U.S. senators, Tammy Duckworth (D) and Dick Durbin (D), are expected to vote for the act.

You can find out how to contact your senators here.