Fox News reported this week that Senate Democrats succeeded in passing the controversial “Respect for Marriage Act.”
The bill mandates federal recognition of same-sex marriages and it passed on Tuesday via a vote of 61 to 36. It is expected to be signed into law by President Joe Biden.
While largely backed by Democrats, the legislation also received support from a dozen Republican lawmakers as well.
They were Sens. Roy Blunt, Richard Burr, Shelley Moore Capito, Susan Collins, Joni Ernst, Cynthia Lummis, Lisa Murkowski, Rob Portman, Mitt Romney, Dan Sullivan, Thom Tillis, and Todd Young.
For his part, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer welcomed the vote’s outcome during a speech from the Senate floor.
“By passing this bill, the Senate’s sending a message to every American … no matter who you are or who you love, you, too, deserve dignity and equal treatment under the law,” Schumer was quoted as saying.
Fox News noted that an amendment put forward by Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins and Wisconsin Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin was added to the bill.
The amendment states that nonprofit religious organizations “shall not be required to provide services” to marriages they oppose.
However, Alliance Defending Freedom CEO Kristen Waggoner warned in a statement earlier this month that the law “will be used by officials and activists to punish and ruin those who do not share the government’s view on marriage.”
“Right now, government officials across the country—including the Biden administration—argue in court that individuals and religious organizations who love and work with people from all walks of life should face civil and criminal penalties if they don’t abandon their beliefs on this issue,” she said.
Fox News reported that three other amendments aimed at strengthening protection for religious groups were put forward by Republican Sens. Marco Rubio, Mike, and James Lankford. However, all three failed to reach the required threshold for adoption.
The push by Democrats to enshrine same-sex marriage in federal law came after a Supreme Court ruling earlier this year which found that abortion is not a constitutionally protected right.