Senate set to vote to advance legislation codifying same-sex marriage

By Ali Zaslav, Daniella Diaz and Ted Barrett, CNNUpdated: Wed, 16 Nov 2022 15:57:01 GMTSource: CNNThe Senate will take the first key vote on Wednesday on legislation to protect same-sex and interracia

By Ali Zaslav, Daniella Diaz and Ted Barrett, CNN

Updated: Wed, 16 Nov 2022 15:57:01 GMT

Source: CNN

The Senate will take the first key vote on Wednesday on legislation to protect same-sex and interracial marriage as the chamber returns this week for the first time since the midterm elections.

The legislation, called the Respect for Marriage Act, needs 60 votes to open debate and advance the bill on Wednesday, and the bipartisan group working on the legislation says it has the 10 GOP votes for it to succeed.

While the bill would not set a national requirement that all states must legalize same-sex marriage, it would require individual states to recognize another state's legal marriage. So, in the event the Supreme Court might overturn its 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision that legalized same-sex marriage, a state could still pass a law to ban same-sex marriage, but that state would be required to recognize a same-sex marriage from another state.

On Tuesday, ​​Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer expressed "hope" that after the first procedural vote later Wednesday, "both sides can work quickly together to move this bill through the Senate and on to the president's desk."

"It already passed the House earlier this year with significant 47 Republican votes and I'm optimistic we can achieve a significant result in this chamber," he added.

Earlier this week, the bipartisan negotiators who worked on the legislation, announced they were "confident" the bill has enough votes to pass and were hoping the bill could be put to the floor for a vote.

The bipartisan group, which includes Republican Sens. Rob Portman of Ohio, Susan Collins of Maine and Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Democratic Sens. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, said in a statement Monday that they "look forward to this legislation coming to the floor."

In addition to those in the bipartisan working group, several other GOP senators have already signaled support for the bill.

Lawmakers had hoped to pass the bill before leaving for recess ahead of the midterm elections, but the chamber punted on a vote until after the November elections as negotiators asked for more time to lock down support.

There's a chance final passage could happen as soon as this week if there's agreement among all 100 senators to speed up the process, otherwise it will likely be after the Thanksgiving recess.