At least one skeptic has been convinced by a bipartisan Senate agreement to enshrine same sex marriage protections in federal law: Sen. Mitt Mitt Romney.
In a short interview with POLITICO, the Utah Republican stated that “if it includes important protections of religions and religious institution, I will support them.” He also indicated that he was satisfied by a recent agreement regarding a religious freedom Amendment.
It’s an indication of what Majority Leader Chuck Schumer hoped for when, after delaying a September vote on the bill to safeguard same-sex marriage rights in September, he agreed to Republican requests that it be taken up by the chamber following the election. Some Democrats were afraid they were being played, and they were convinced to put pressure on the opposing party to make the legislation more difficult. The GOP then sank the legislation.
These fears may still be true as Republican senators have declined to answer questions Tuesday about how they vote. However, proponents of this bill remain optimistic.
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo. The retiring No. The retiring No. 4 GOP leader said he had made a decision but refused to reveal what it was. Retired Sen. Pat Toomey, (R-Pa.), said that he’d decided but declined to say what his decision was. And Sen. Joni Ernest (R.Iowa), suggested that she is closer to a decision, but would like to talk more with her staff.
Ernst stated, “I’ve spoken a bit with people on both sides of this issue.” “I have told everyone, but I just keep an open mind.”
Romney is the fourth GOP senator to support the bill — but only on the condition that religious freedoms are included and Democrats must have at least 10 Republicans in order to defeat a filibuster. It is expected that Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R. Alaska) will also support it.
In the midst of frustration over 2022 election results, GOP senators have been focusing their attention on Wednesday’s leadership elections. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will be challenged by Sen. Rick Scott (R.Fla.).
The House passed its same sex marriage bill in July, with support from almost 50 House Republicans. However, the Senate process took longer due to GOP concerns about religious freedom. The Senate must approve its version before it can be sent to President Joe Biden. Sens. Sens.
When Tillis was asked if he believed they would get the required GOP backing, Tillis replied that he is in a “confident position” citing recent endorsements for the legislation.
Tillis stated, “Don’t take it away and say that I think it is in the bag. I mean we will be having discussions all up to the motion for the vote to proceed.” “I believe that if we are successful in the Senate that we will get votes on the House side.”
One Republican who was close to the discussions, who requested anonymity to talk about the vote count, stated that while more than five GOP senators would support the bill, “not many” others would. The Republican wasn’t certain that the bill would pass a filibuster.
Senate Bill would make it clear that federal government will recognize same-sex marriages if they are valid in the state where they were made, even if the couple moves to another state. This would also apply to interracial marriages. It would also repeal the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage to be between one man or one woman according to federal laws.
Bipartisan amendment clarifies that protections from 1993’s religious freedom law would be preserved in the bill. This law prohibits people from being able to exercise their faith without imposing a significant burden. It also states that non-profit religious groups will not be required to provide marriage services, and that the bill will not affect their tax treatment.
The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (CJSLDS) announced their support for the bill. They said that it “includes appropriate religion freedom protections while respecting and preserving our LGBTQ brothers-and-sisters’ rights.”
The Supreme Court has enshrined gay marriage in law in 2015. However, the bill’s supporters are worried that the precedent might be reversed. They cite Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ concurring opinion in the Dobbsdecision, which questioned other legal rights but specifically pointed to same-sex marital relationships.
Schumer stated Tuesday that the Senate could eliminate the risk of LGBTQ Americans losing their rights if it acted now to codify marriage protections in law.
Wednesday’s vote on the bill to proceed marks the first time that the chamber has enacted standalone legislation on LGBTQ rights since 2013.
Sens. Shelley Moore Capito from West Virginia, retiring Richard Burr in North Carolina and Bill Cassidy in Louisiana were all coy on the bill. McConnell has not yet indicated his vote.
Republican opponents of protecting same-sex marriage rights claim it is unnecessary. They argue that the Supreme Court will not reverse its 2015 decision. Others criticized the timing, despite some GOP senators pushing Schumer to delay voting.
“It doesn’t seem like voters would have any way to hold senators accountable, if they wait until after the election to do it in lame duck,” stated Sen. John Cornyn (R.Texas). It doesn’t look good.
The Senate will likely pass the House-passed bill Wednesday, and then replace it by the Senate version with the religious liberty amendment. Supporters of the bill want it to pass quickly. To make it move faster, however, all 100 senators must agree to this.