The United States Senate today passed the Respect for Marriage Act, a bill designed to put into Federal law certain protections for gay and interracial marriages.
Even though both practices are already legal across the country, there has been concern that the current Supreme Court could overturn past rulings that legalized such marriages. The concern was heightened after the Dobbs ruling that overturned Roe v Wade, and increased further when Justice Clarence Thomas said after Dobbs that the court should “reconsider” other past rulings.
The Act also requires that states recognize marriages that were legal where they were performed, and that states recognize legal marriages “regardless of sex, race, ethnicity, or national origin.”
The bill passed the Senate 61-36, with a dozen Republicans joining the Democrats in support of the bill, thus ensuring that it could not be stopped by a filibuster. A similar bill was passed by the House earlier this year, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said they will take up the current bill soon so that President Biden can sign it.
Both Kentucky Senators Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell voted against the bill.
Here is a map showing how the two senators from each state voted. To see the votes by state, go here.