- by theguardian
- 30 Nov 2022
Legislation to protect same-sex and interracial marriages crossed a major Senate hurdle on Wednesday, putting Congress on track to take the historic step of ensuring that such unions are enshrined in federal law.
Senate Democrats are quickly moving to pass the bill while the party still controls the House. Republicans are on the verge of winning the House majority and would be unlikely to take up the issue next year.
Still, many Republicans in Congress have been reluctant to support the legislation. Democrats delayed consideration until after the midterm elections, hoping that would relieve political pressure on some GOP senators who might be wavering.
A proposed amendment to the bill, negotiated by supporters to bring more Republicans on board, would clarify that it does not affect rights of private individuals or businesses that are already enshrined in law. Another tweak would make clear that a marriage is between two people, an effort to ward off some far-right criticism that the legislation could endorse polygamy.
Three Republicans said early on that they would support the legislation and have lobbied their GOP colleagues to support it: Maine Senator Susan Collins, North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis and Ohio Senator Rob Portman.
Baldwin said that as more individuals and families have become visible, hearts and minds have changed.