November 30, 2022


Senate votes to protect same-sex marriage, with crucial backing from some Republicans who helped install conservatives on Supreme Court (Jim Puzzanghera and Shannon Coan, November 29, 2022, Boston Globe)

"I think this is largely driven by the reversal of nearly 50 years of precedent and the acknowledgment that the constitutional and legal grounds on which Roe v. Wade was decided were very similar to Loving v. Virginia and Obergefell," Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, a Democrat who partnered with Collins in crafting the bill, said in an interview.

"I know that people in both interracial marriages and same-sex marriages are very concerned about the security of their marriages," said Baldwin, the first openly gay senator.

The bill would not codify the federal right to same-sex marriage, but supporters said it provides enough protection without infringing on religious freedoms for people and groups who oppose such unions. Several religious organizations, including the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the National Association of Evangelicals, and the Orthodox Union, a Jewish organization, have publicly backed the legislation.

"Passing the bill is our chance to send a message to Americans everywhere: No matter who you are or who you love, you too deserve dignity and equal treatment under the law," said Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer of New York, who sported the same purple tie Tuesday that he wore to the wedding of his daughter and her wife.

The House approved the Respect for Marriage Act 267-157 in July, with 47 Republicans joining every Democrat in voting for it. The bill now must be approved again in the House after it was revised in the Senate to address religious liberty concerns, changes that helped secure more Republican support. The revisions included specifying that nonprofit religious organizations are not required to provide "any services, facilities, or goods" for same-sex marriages and will not risk their tax-exempt status if they don't recognize such unions.

Republican failure on this issue stems from not adopting Howard Dean's idea for civil union, a purely legal construct that would have secured these rights without decimating the institution of marriage.  Now it is incumbent on religion to craft a new institution to re-differentiate moral unions from merely legal ones. 

Posted by at November 30, 2022 12:00 AM