Senate Folds On Marriage; House Vote Expected Next

On November 29, 2022, the U.S. Senate passed the so-called Respect for Marriage Act by a 61-36 vote.

The Respect for Marriage Act—which could be more accurately described as the Disrespect for Marriage Act—would require that same-sex “marriage” be recognized throughout the nation even if the Supreme Court were to someday overturn the Supreme Court decision that found a constitutional “right” to same-sex “marriage.” Furthermore, the bill opens the door to lawsuits against faith-based charities that decline to recognize employees’ same-sex “marriages.”

As with previous Senate votes on this bill, 12 Republicans joined all present Senate Democrats in voting for passage. Those 12 Republicans were:

  • Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO);
  • Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC);
  • Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV);
  • Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME);
  • Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA);
  • Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY);
  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK);
  • Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH);
  • Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT);
  • Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK);
  • Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC); and
  • Sen. Todd Young (R-IN).

Sens. Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Ben Sasse (R-NE), and Pat Toomey (R-PA) were not present for the final vote.

Sens. James Lankford (R-OK), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Marco Rubio (R-FL) offered amendments to the bill that would have mitigated its negative impact upon religious freedom. All three amendments were defeated.

New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms thanks Sens. Lankford, Lee, and Rubio for their religious freedom advocacy. We also thank the 36 Senate Republicans who voted against this destructive bill.

The so-called Respect for Marriage Act will now return for a second vote in the House of Representatives. When the House passed an earlier version of this bill, Rep. Claudia Tenney was the only member of New York’s congressional delegation to vote against it. We must persuade Republican Reps. Lee Zeldin, Andrew Garbarino, Nicole Malliotakis, Elise Stefanik, and John Katko to reverse course. Please use our action alert to write your member of Congress today. When writing to your elected officials, always remember to be respectful and courteous.