The Respect For Marriage Act just passed the Senate in a bipartisan vote, with 61 "yea" votes to 36 "nay" votes. The bill needed 60 votes to pass. The amendments introduced by Republican Senator Mike Lee of Utah, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, and Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma did not pass. Senator Lee was disappointed that his amendment did not pass.
The Respect for Marriage Act will repeal the law known as DOMA, or the Defense of Marriage Act, which was enacted when Bill Clinton was president. The Respect for Marriage Act will safeguard same-sex and interracial marriages by requiring the recognition of valid marriages regardless of sex, race, ethnicity, or national origin. This bill doesn't require all states to legalize same-sex marriages, but it does require individual states to recognize a same-sex marriage from another state. This bill was introduced after Roe v. Wade was struck down in June by the Supreme Court, and out of fears that the same could happen to same-sex marriages, the Democrats created the Respect for Marriage Act to offer federal protections to same-sex marriages.
The bill had already cleared the House in July, with 47 Republicans voting in support of it. Changes were made to the bill when it came to the Senate to ensure nonprofit religious organizations will not be required to provide services, facilities, or goods for the celebration of same-sex marriages. The changes also protect religious liberty and conscience protections available under the Constitution and federal law. The bill also makes it clear that it does not authorize the federal government to recognize polygamous marriages.
The bill now returns to the House for a vote, where it is expected to pass and then will head to Biden for his signature to become law.