U.S. Senate Passes "Respect For Marriage Act"

Gold wedding rings on LGBT pride flag.

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The U.S. Senate on Tuesday voted to pass an amended version of the "Respect For Marriage Act" that will send it back to the House of Representatives for a final vote before being sent to President Biden to sign into law.

The "Respect For Marriage Act" will repeal the "Defense of Marriage Act" (known as DOMA) and will require states to recognize a same-sex or mixed-race marriage that was performed in a state where that marriage is legal. Critics argue that the act does not force states to issue marriage licenses for same-sex marriages. Same-sex marriage has been legal in the United States since the 2015 Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges that declared DOMA unconstitutional.

This Act took shape quickly after same-sex marriage was put on notice by SCOTUS Justice Clarence Thomas' opinion in the overturn of Roe v. Wade, which removed the right to an abortion. The House passed the first version of the "Respect For Marriage Act" in July, while the Democratic-controlled Senate announced they would delay voting for the bill under the Midterm Elections were done, in an effort to obtain Republican votes necessary to avoid the filibuster.

In an effort to secure bi-partisan votes, the Bill has since been amended to include a carve out for religious groups to not be required to provide services, facilities or good for the celebration of a same-sex marriage. This is the version of the bill that passed the U.S. Senate today.

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