Yesterday, the Senate passed the Respect For Marriage Act. It will now go back to the House to align the Senate bill’s amendments with the House’s version before it is sent to the president.
To recap: When the Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade, there was a lot of discussion about how same-sex marriage, interracial marriage, and the right to contraception were all in danger as they were based on similar legal arguments (Clarence Thomas went so far as to state his support for revisiting some of these decisions in his concurrent opinion).
Following the ruling, in July, Rep. Jerry Nadler, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Rep. David Cicilline, Sen. Tammy Baldwin, and Sen. Susan Collins reintroduced previously stalled legislation repealing the Defense Of Marriage Act and ensuring that recognition of a legal marriage in one state would extend federally across the entire country.
The House passed the bill (267-157) with support from 47 Republicans in July, but Senate Republicans balked, refusing to vote on it until after the midterm elections.
Fast forward to yesterday: The final version of the Senate bill passed by a vote of 61-36, ensuring that the rights conveyed along with marriage cannot be denied.
This is a win for progressives. This is a win for the LGBTQ+ community. This is a win for interracial couples. This is a win for basic decency.
It is also a reminder that the final legislative session is vitally important this cycle.
Democrats held onto a Senate majority in November but lost the House. Because of this, the final session between the midterm election and the seating of the 118th Congress is a crucial last chance to push through substantive legislation with the Democratic trifecta. With an upcoming split Congress, it will be virtually impossible to pass progressive legislation over the next two years. Just yesterday, Sen. Thune, the #2 Republican in the Senate, reiterated Republicans’ plans to weaponize must-pass bills to slash Social Security, Medicare, and other critical supports.
We have until January 3 to take advantage of the Democratic trifecta. That’s 34 days for this Congress to enact meaningful change. It is on us to pressure our representatives to continue working until the job is done.
Here’s how you can help:
- Call your Democratic representative and ask them to stay in session until their work is finshed. We must use every minute of our existing trifecta to achieve necessary legislative victories for the American people. Congress can stay in session and do so. If you have a Republican representative, click here to call them and keep up the pressure on them to pass more popular legislation during the final session.
- Call your Democratic senators and demand they stay in session until their work is done. So much about how much we can get done depends on the Senate. At the end of the day, raising the debt ceiling so that Republicans can’t weaponize it against Social Security and Medicare next year is the most time-consuming in the Senate because of arcane Senate procedure. Your senator will need some cheerleading to stay at work seven days a week and get it done!
- If you have a Republican senator, call them and keep up the pressure to pass as many popular bills as possible during the final session. Right now, we are focused on two incredibly important pieces of legislation: the Electoral Count Act and the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. Passing these pieces of legislation will help guard against any future attempts to steal a presidential election and codify into federal law that it is discrimination to refuse to make reasonable accommodations for employees affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. Congress can and must get this done immediately.
- Donate $15 today to help us continue our work on the final session and support all of our programming. There is so much left to do to ensure our Democratic majorities deliver for the American people. While campaigns shut down after the election, we’re still here mobilizing to get landmark legislation like the Respect For Marriage Act through Congress. Your donation funds our advocacy tools, our strategy guides (check out this full rundown of the final session), and all of Indivisible’s work as we continue to fight for progress.
We are one step closer to codifying the recognition of legal marriages nationwide. That is one beautiful step towards a more equitable future. Let’s put in the work to ensure Congress keeps up this forward momentum throughout the final session.
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