WASHINGTON ― The Senate will vote soon on laws protecting same-sex marriages, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced Wednesday.
“All of us wish to pass this quickly … a vote on marriage equality will occur on the Senate floor in the approaching weeks,” Schumer said in a weekly press conference on Capitol Hill.
The House has already passed a bill protecting same-sex marriage with the support of 47 Republicans. Supporters of the laws are attempting to round up enough support for the bill within the Senate.
A bipartisan group of senators met this week to debate changes to the laws to handle some Republicans’ concerns that it might stifle religious liberty.
The group can also be considering changes that might make it “very clear that marriage is between two individuals” for those “who’ve raised the difficulty of that it could someway result in federal advice of polygamous relationships though no states allow for such marriages,” Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) told reporters on Wednesday.
Only 4 Republican senators have expressed public support for the bill: Collins, Rob Portman (Ohio), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), and Thom Tillis (North Carolina).
Other GOP senators have either declined to take a position or dodged the matter by calling it unnecessary, maintaining that there isn’t any energetic threat to same-sex marriage at once.
“That is just Democrats opening up a wound that doesn’t must be opened up. And now that I’ve talked to people, there are some very serious concerns on religious liberty,” Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said Wednesday.
The Supreme Court opinion in June revoking abortion rights raised concerns that the court’s conservative majority might go even further by reversing its 5-4 opinion guaranteeing marriage equality. In his concurring opinion within the abortion case, Justice Clarence Thomas said the court must also reconsider other cases that rest on the suitable to privacy — specifically those protecting contraception access and same-sex relationships.
Sen. Tammy Baldwin (Wis.), the primary Democratic sponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act, said she is confident the bill will pass.
“I feel momentum is entering into the suitable direction,” she said.