The U.S. Senate has advanced the Respect for Marriage Act. It’s not the final passage, but it’s a key step forward.The Senate Wednesday afternoon voted 62-37 to move the legislation forward, with 12 Republicans joining all 50 Democrats and independents.The vote now allows the Senate to begin debate on the bill, bringing it closer to a final vote.
The legislation would write marriage equality into federal law and protect it from Supreme Court action, given that Justice Clarence Thomas has called for the overturning of Obergefell v.
Hodges, the 2015 high court ruling that struck down all state bans on same-sex marriage. It would also repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which was struck down in Obergefell and Windsor v.
U.S. but remains on the books, and would guarantee the right to interracial marriage as enshrined in the high court’s Loving v.