The Senate on Wednesday cleared a key procedural hurdle toward historic passage of the bipartisan bill to protect same-sex and interracial marriage, voting 62-37 to break a filibuster.
There could be additional votes before final passage, but Wednesday’s successful test vote signals the bill is on a glide path to succeed, a remarkable turn of events given how contentious the issue of same-sex marriage was just a few years ago.
While the bill would not set a national requirement that all states must legalize same-sex marriage, it would require individual states to recognize another state’s legal marriage.
So, in the event the Supreme Court might overturn its 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision that legalized same-sex marriage, a state could still pass a law to ban same-sex marriage, but that state would be required to recognize a same-sex marriage from another state.
All 50 members of the Democratic caucus voted to start debate on the bill as well as 12 Republicans. It’s unclear when the chamber will vote on final passage. Without an agreement to speed up passage of the bill which needs consent from all 100 senators, final passage will likely occur after the Senate returns from Thanksgiving recess.
Still, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told CNN he wants his chamber’s bill to pass by Thursday before senators leave for their Thanksgiving recess all next week.
“We’re hoping that could happen,” he said. Earlier this week, Schumer expressed “hope” that after the vote Wednesday, “both sides can work quickly together to move this bill through the Senate and on to the president’s desk.”
“It already passed the House earlier this year with significant 47 Republican votes and I’m optimistic we can achieve a significant result in this chamber,” he added. (SOURCE)