The Senate takes the first step to codify same-sex marriage

The Democratic Party was able to get the support of 12 Republican senators to pass the bill protecting same-sex marriage.

The Democratic Party has taken an important step to codify same-sex marriage. With the support of 12 Republican senators, congressional Democrats succeeded in bringing the Respect for Marriage Act to the Senate floor. The proposed law would protect same-sex marriage from potential court reversals such as what Dobbs v. Jackson did to abortion.

Congressional Democrats have not wasted time and, even before the results of the midterms were known, they have tried to accelerate the passing the bill while they still hold a majority in both the House and the Senate. The Respect for Marriage Act is the top priority.

Bipartisan cooperation

The 62-37 vote means that 12 Republican senators supported the bill to meet the 60-vote quorum required for it to proceed. With an even 50-50 balance of power at the moment (the final composition for the next two years won't be known until the runoff in Georgia is complete), the support of opposing party members is essential to move this type of legislation forward.

This is not an isolated case. In the summer, 47 members of the Republican Party gave their support a version of this bill in the House. In fact, Republican senators, like Marco Rubio, who opposed the vote did so because they believe there are other priorities and that no one opposes same-sex marriage. "I don't know why we are doing that bill; there's no threat to its status in America. I know plenty of gay people in Florida that are pissed off about gas prices," Rubio said in remarks to The New York Times.

What remains to pass the bill?

Rubio's fellow senator from Texas, John Cornyn, went a step further and called the bill a political stunt by Democrats to scare people into thinking "that somehow that decision by the Supreme Court is in jeopardy. I don't believe it is." The bill's foremost sponsor, Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin, disagrees: "homosexuals were scared for good reason." According to Democrats, the Supreme Court justices could technically apply the same legal criteria to gay marriage that they used to overturn Roe v. Wade.

After the hurdle of obtaining 60% quorum was surpassed, the bill must now be approved by the Senate and then return to the House of Representatives, which must then approve it themselves and send it along to President Biden to be signed.