All Mid-South senators voted ‘no’ for bipartisan bill to protect same-sex marriage

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the legislation was “a long time coming” and part of...
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the legislation was “a long time coming” and part of America’s “difficult but inexorable march towards greater equality.”(Source: Benson Kua / CC BY-SA 2.0 via MGN)
Published: Nov. 29, 2022 at 9:11 PM CST

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - On Tuesday, the Senate passed bipartisan legislation to protect same-sex and interracial marriages, and among 12 Republican senators who supported the bill, none were from the Mid-South area.

The bill, dubbed the Respect for Marriage Act, would ensure that same-sex marriage and interracial marriages are protected by federal law.

All six state senators from Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas voted against the landmark bill.

Republican Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi expressed his concerns on Twitter following Tuesday’s vote.

Despite concerns of First Amendment violations, the legislation would not force any state to allow same-sex couples to marry.

But, it would require individual states to recognize other states’ legal marriages. It would also protect all current same-sex marriages if the court’s 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision were to be overturned.

The final vote was 61-36, supported by all members of the Democratic caucus plus 12 Republicans.

Those 12 include:

Senators Roy Blunt of Missouri; Richard M. Burr and Thom Tillis, both of North Carolina; Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia; Susan Collins of Maine; Joni Ernst of Iowa; Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming; Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, both of Alaska; Rob Portman of Ohio; Mitt Romney of Utah; and Todd Young of Indiana.

Republican Senators Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania did not vote, nor did Senator Raphael Warnock, Democrat of Georgia.

President Joe Biden praised the bipartisan vote and said he will sign the bill “promptly and proudly” if it is passed by the House.

The full text of the Respect for Marriage Act can be viewed here.

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