The U.S. Senate will vote this week on the Respect for Marriage Act, which would write marriage equality into federal law, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Monday.Schumer made the announcement after a bipartisan group of senators agreed on an amendment to the bill aimed at allaying concerns about its effects on religious liberty.The amendment confirms that no nonprofit religious organization would have to provide goods, services, or facilities “for the solemnization or celebration of a marriage,” says a press release from Sen.
Tammy Baldwin’s office. It also clarifies that the federal government would not have to recognize polygamous marriages.What the Respect for Marriage Act will do is require the federal government to recognize a marriage between two individuals if the marriage was valid in the state where it was performed and bar anyone acting under a state law from denying full faith and credit to a marriage based on the sex, race, ethnicity, or national origin of the spouses.Additionally, it would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which prevented the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages and allowed states to refrain from recognizing those performed in other states.
DOMA is unenforceable since its invalidation by the U.S. Supreme Court (the first part in 2013, the second in 2015), but it remains part of federal law.The call to write marriage equality into federal law has come because right-wing forces would love to see the overturning of the Supreme Court’s 2015 Obergefell v.
Hodges ruling, which legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. It would take a case getting to the court for this to happen, but conservative justices have said they’d love to have the opportunity.