A historic moment: the Respect for Marriage Act has passed in the Senate, protecting federal marriage equality

US Senate passes ‘Respect for Marriage Act’, protecting same-sex and interracial marriage equality.


With a 61 to 36 vote, the Senate has voted to codify same-sex and interracial marriage with a landmark bipartisan bill, called the Respect for Marriage Act (watch a clip of the moment at the bottom of this story).

12 Republicans voted in favour if the bill, along with every single Democrat.


Here is the Republican Senators who voted against the bill passing in 2022.


Their names listed, are:

  • John Barrasso
  • Marsha Blackburn
  • John Boozman
  • Mike Braun
  • Bill Cassidy
  • John Cornyn
  • Tom Cotton
  • Kevin Cramer
  • Mike Crapo
  • Ted Cruz
  • Steve Daines
  • Deb Fischer
  • Lindsey Graham
  • Chuck Grassley
  • Bill Hagerty
  • Josh Hawley
  • John Hoeven
  • Cindy Hyde-Smith
  • Jim Inhofe
  • Ron Johnson
  • John Neely Kennedy
  • James Lankford
  • Mike Lee
  • Roger Marshall
  • Mitch McConnell
  • Jerry Moran
  • Rand Paul
  • Jim Risch
  • Mike Rounds
  • Marco Rubio
  • Rick Scott
  • Tim Scott
  • Richard Shelby
  • John Thune
  • Tommy Tuberville
  • Roger Wicker


The legislation now goes back to the House of Representatives, which is expected to approve it and send it to President Biden to sign into law before Republicans take over the House next year.

The House passing the bill is a step that the majority leader, Steny Hoyer, said on Tuesday could come as soon as Tuesday December 6.


However, the bill does not set a national requirement that all states must legalize same-sex marriage.

Although the act does not codify the 2015 supreme court decision which made same-sex marriage legal nationwide, it would require states to recognise all marriages that were legal when performed.

Interracial marriages would also be protected, with states required to recognise legal marriage regardless of “sex, race, ethnicity, or national origin”.


The Respect for Marriage Act does, however, repeal the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996, which allowed states to refuse to recognise civil marriages of same-sex couples and prohibit all same-sex couples, regardless of their marital status, from federal benefits and protections.

That law was effectively nullified by two landmark Supreme Court decisions: Windsor v United States in 2013 and Obergefell v Hodges in 2015.


Earlier this month, the US Senate advanced the bill a stage further, as senators voted 62-37 in favour of progressing the legislation.


37 Republicans voting AGAINST equal marriage protections for same-sex and interracial couples. Bizarrely, the votes against included one Republican, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is himself in an interracial marriage.


New York Senator and Senate Majority Leader, Chuck Schumer, celebrated with a tweet, saying: “I just called my daughter and her wife—who are expecting a baby next spring—to let them know that this Senate passed the Respect for Marriage Act! What a great day!”

Ahead of the vote, Pete Buttigieg commented: “Strange feeling, to see something as basic and as personal as the durability of your marriage come up for debate on the Senate floor.”,

Then adding, “But I am hopeful that they will act to protect millions of families, including ours, and appreciate all that has gone into preparing this important legislation to move forward.”



James Esseks, director of the LGBTQ & HIV Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union, highlighted Tuesday both the importance of the act and the work still needing to be done, naming trans rights among them:

“For the last seven years, LGBTQ+ families across the country have been able to build their lives around their right to marriage equality”, Esseks said.


“The Respect for Marriage Act will go a long way to ensure an increasingly radical supreme court does not threaten this right, but LGBTQ+ rights are already under attack nationwide. Transgender people especially have had their safety, dignity, and health care threatened by lawmakers across the country, including by members of this Congress.”

“While we welcome the historic vote on this measure, members of Congress must also fight like trans lives depend on their efforts because trans lives do.”


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