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The U.S Senate on Wednesday passed the hotly-debated Respect for Marriage Act, which would federally enshrine the right to same-sex and interracial marriage into law.

All Democratic Senators voted "yes" on the measure, joined by 12 Republicans. The bill was contested by members of the Republican Party, with many arguing the proposal would threaten religious liberty. The proposed legislation must now pass the House before arriving at the desk of Pres. Joe Biden for his signature, a signature Biden has already pledged upon its passage.

Alabama's two Senators, Richard Shelby and Tommy Tuberville, both voted against the act.

Tuberville's vote was a matter of speculation leading up to the vote because of inconclusive answers to questions on this vote.

In a statement sent to 1819 News, Tuberville said he believed the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) had already provided sufficient protection to same-sex marriage and interracial marriage in previous rulings.  

"The issue of same-sex marriage has already been decided by the Supreme Court," Tuberville said. "Not only is this legislation unnecessary, it fails to protect constitutional religious liberties the Court has reaffirmed for all Americans. For those reasons, I do not support this legislation and do not believe further federal action is necessary."

The push to federally enshrine specific rights into federal law has been a priority for Democrats since the SCOTUS overturned Roe V. Wade.

In the decision of Dobbs V. Jackson Women's Health Organization, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that the Court could also reconsider previous court rulings that federally protected certain rights that should be left to the states per the United States Constitution.

With the vote passing the Senate, Democrats will try to push a hurried vote in the House of Representatives while the party maintains its soon-to-be-lost majority after the midterms.

Representative Chip Roy (R–Texas) sent an open letter to his fellow Senators, calling on them to reject the legislation.  

"Under the guise of compromise, and the cultural winds of today, you are slated to soon vote on the so-called 'Respect for Marriage Act,'" Roy said. "Supporting this bill would be a mistake, as passing this bill would codify, in federal law, a false belief on marriage and villainize millions of Americans for their religious beliefs. This, all because Democrats felt political pressure mounting, and Justice Clarence Thomas lives rent free in their heads. The Baldwin-Collins-Tillis Amendment will threaten the charity status of faith-based adoption and foster-care agencies — while painting a target on them for future frivolous litigation — and fan the flames of attacks on religious liberty. As drafted, this amendment does not provide sufficient protections for faith-based non-profits, religious schools, religious business owners, and civil servants or close the polygamy loophole."

To connect with the story's author or comment, email craig.monger@1819news.com.

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