politics Marriage Equality Law

Here's What the Respect for Marriage Act Would Do

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The U.S. Senate is set to take a procedural vote Wednesday on the Respect for Marriage Act, which would write marriage equality into federal law and protect it from Supreme Court action.The House of Representatives has already passed the bill, but it has not come to a vote in the Senate.

Wednesday’s vote isn’t for final passage, but it would allow the measure to move forward, and it would take the vote of 60 senators due to the chamber’s rules.“Clearing the 60-vote threshold allows debate to start on the measure and puts the legislation closer to final passage,” CBS News explains.It also takes 60 votes to close debate and move to a final vote, meaning it would need the support of 10 Republican senators in addition to all 50 Democrats and independents.A bipartisan group of senators Monday announced an amendment to the bill to allay concerns that it would threaten religious freedom.

The amendment confirms that no nonprofit religious organization would have to provide goods, services, or facilities for wedding ceremonies or receptions, and it clarifies that the federal government would not have to recognize polygamous marriages.

If the Senate passes the bill with the amendment, it would have to go back to the House for another vote, as it would be a new version.Here's what the act would do, explained with the help of the Human Rights Campaign.

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