A once divisive topic has gained bipartisan support in the Senate, as 12 Republicans, including Ohio Senator Rob Portman, joined all 50 Democratic representatives to pass the revised Respect for Marriage Act on Wednesday, Nov 17.
The revised bill, if passed again by House members and signed by President Biden, would replace the definition of marriage, for purposes of federal law. The revisions legally recognize marriage between two individuals, regardless of sex, race, ethnicity or national origin, and their right to file for civil action in all 50 states.
"We've shown here through this legislation that these rights can co-exist, religious freedom on the one hand, LGBTQ on the other hand," Portman said.
This comes after Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas suggested the court should reconsider a case that enshrined same-sex marriage into the U.S. Constitution. Thomas remains the only justice to call on the court to reconsider precedents.
Following the legislation being introduced by senators on Monday, Nov. 15, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer motioned for the vote to take place. The bi-partisan support for the bill cleared the 60-vote-threshold, allowing for movement into the final stages of voting.