US: Same-sex marriage bill clears major hurdle in Senate

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É.-U. : the gay marriage bill cleared a major hurdle in the Senate

More than two-thirds of the public support same-sex unions, according to a recent poll.

Legislation to protect same-sex and interracial marriages could be guaranteed in federal law. (Archives)

Legislation to protect same-sex and interracial marriages cleared a major hurdle in the Senate on Wednesday, putting Congress on track to take the historic step of ensuring such unions are enshrined in federal law. p>

Twelve Republicans voted with all Democrats to advance the legislation, meaning a final vote could be as early as this week or later this month. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the bill to ensure unions are legally recognized by law is an opportunity for the Senate to live up to its highest ideals and protect marriage equality for all.

This will make our country a better and fairer place to live, Schumer said, pointing out that his own daughter and wife spouse are expecting a baby next year.

Senate Democrats are moving quickly to pass the bill. Republicans, who won a majority in the House of Representatives late Wednesday, are unlikely to address the issue next year.

The bill has gained momentum since the June Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade and the Federal Abortion Law. At the time, Justice Clarence Thomas shared his opinion which suggested that an earlier High Court ruling protecting same-sex marriage could also be in jeopardy.

The legislation would repeal the Clinton-era Defense of Marriage Act and require states to recognize all legal marriages where they were performed. The new Respect for Marriage Act would also protect interracial marriages by requiring states to recognize legal marriages regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, or national origin.

< p class="e-p">Congress has taken steps to protect same-sex marriage as support from the general public — and Republicans in particular — has grown sharply in recent years, the Oberfell v. Hodges of the Supreme Court in 2015 having legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. A recent poll found that more than two-thirds of the public support same-sex unions.

Still, many Republicans in Congress have been reluctant to support the legislation. Democrats delayed consideration of the bill until after the midterm elections, hoping it would relieve political pressure on some Republican Party senators who may be reluctant.

A proposed amendment to the bill, negotiated by supporters to rally more Republicans, would clarify that it does not affect the rights of individuals or businesses that are already enshrined in law. Another amendment would clarify that a marriage is between two people in order to ward off some far-right criticism that the legislation may condone polygamy.

Three Republicans declared early on that they would support the legislation and lobbied their Republican Party colleagues to support it: Maine Senator Susan Collins, North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis and Ohio Senator Rob Portman.

Current federal law does not reflect the will or beliefs of the American people in this regard, Senator Portman said before the vote. It is time for the Senate to decide the question.

Federal law does not reflect American values, say elected officials.

The growing Republican support for this issue is a stark contrast to the situation 10 years ago, when many Republicans strongly opposed same-sex marriages. The legislation passed the House in a vote in July with the support of 47 Republicans – a larger-than-expected number that gave the measure a boost in the Senate.

On Tuesday, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints became the latest conservative-leaning group to back the legislation. In a statement, the Utah-based religious group said church doctrine would continue to hold same-sex relationships as contrary to God's commandments, but would support the rights of women. same-sex couples as long as they do not infringe on the right of religious groups to believe as they see fit.

Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin, a Democrat who is the first openly gay senator and has worked on gay rights issues for nearly four decades, said the new openness of many Republicans on the subject reminds her of the arc of the early LBGTQ movement, when people were not visible and people knew homosexuals through myths and stereotypes.

As more individuals and families became visible , hearts and minds changed ge,” Ms. Baldwin said. And slowly the laws followed, she said. This is the story.

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