The Senate on Tuesday passed the Respect for Marriage Act, a bill that would repeal the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which bans federal recognition of same-sex marriages. The Respect for Marriage Act would not force states to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples but would require that people be considered married in any state as long as the marriage was valid in the state where it was performed.
The bill, passed by a vote of 61-36. All Democrats and eight Republicans voted in favor of the bill.
President Joe Biden celebrated the passage of the bill, saying “With today’s bipartisan Senate passage of the Respect for Marriage Act, the United States is on the brink of reaffirming a fundamental truth: love is love, and Americans should have the right to marry the person they love,” the president said in a statement. “For millions of Americans, this legislation will safeguard the rights and protections to which LGBTQI+ and interracial couples and their children are entitled.”
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which had endorsed the bill, also welcomed its passage.
“We are pleased that the Senate has voted to repeal the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act,” church spokesman Eric Hawkins said in a statement. “This action is a victory for fairness and equality.”
“The rights of all married couples will never truly be safe without the proper protections under federal law. And that’s why the Respect for Marriage Act is necessary,” Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said on the Senate floor Monday.
The bill now heads to the House of Representatives, where it is expected to pass. Before being signed by President Joe Biden.