Senators reach deal on codifying same-sex marriage, preserving religious liberty

The House would have to approve the changes made in the Senate version should it clear the filibuster.

Updated: November 14, 2022 - 6:06pm

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Five senators on Monday revealed a plan to codify protections for same-sex marriage into law while protecting religious liberty in the process.

"Through bipartisan collaboration, we've crafted commonsense language to confirm that this legislation fully respects and protects Americans' religious liberties and diverse beliefs, while leaving intact the core mission of the legislation to protect marriage equality," the group of lawmakers announced Monday, per The Hill.

Sens. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., Susan Collins, R-Maine, Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., Rob Portman, R-Ohio and Thom Tillis, R-N.C., unveiled a plan that would protect same-sex marriage while allowing nonprofit religious organizations to refrain from providing services supporting it, according to The Hill. It would further enshrine religious liberty and conscience protections into federal law.

The senators were confident that the plan would secure the support of at least 10 Republicans and could clear the 60-vote filibuster threshold in the upper chamber. The House of Representatives in July of this year passed a bill to protect interracial and same-sex marriages following comments from Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas suggesting the Supreme Court could revisit some of its landmark civil rights decisions after overturning Roe v. Wade.

The House would have to approve the changes made in the Senate version should it clear the filibuster before the legislature could send a final version to President Joe Biden's desk.

There is no vote scheduled as of press time.