The Senate won't vote on codifying same-sex marriage until after the midterms, Schumer's office said.
Senators working on the Respect for Marriage Act said they need more time to work on amendments.
The legislation easily passed the House nearly 2 months ago, and even 47 GOP Reps. voted for it.
The Senate will not vote on legislation codifying both same-sex and interracial marriage until after the November election, a spokesman for Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Thursday citing a request from a group of lawmakers working to pass the bill.
That's despite the bill easily sailing through the House in July, where every Democrat and even 47 Republicans voted for it.
Once the bill made it to the Senate, a bipartisan group of senators — including Democratic Sens. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, as well as Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Thom Tillis of North Carolina — began working to ensure that it would receive the 10 Republican votes necessary to overcome the 60-vote filibuster threshold.
That included an amendment making clear that the bill will not infringe on religious liberty, though the text has yet to be released as of Thursday.
"Through bipartisan collaboration, we've crafted commonsense language that respects religious liberty and Americans' diverse beliefs, while upholding our view that marriage embodies the highest ideals of love, devotion, and family," the senators said in a joint statement Thursday announced the request for more time. "We are confident that when our legislation comes to the Senate floor for a vote, we will have the bipartisan support to pass the bill."
—Jack Turman III (@jackturmanIII) September 15, 2022
A vote on the bill had originally been planned for Monday. Now, the delay in the vote timing could give Republican senators cover to vote for a measure unpopular with more socially conservative GOP voters following the contentious midterm elections.
In a statement, Schumer spokesman Justin Goodman said the majority leader was "extremely disappointed that there aren't 10 Republicans in the Senate willing to vote yes on marriage equality legislation at this time."
"Just like he has persisted for the last two years on legislation that no one thought could pass, Leader Schumer will not give up and will hold the bipartisan group to their promise that the votes to pass this marriage equality legislation will be there after the election," he added.
The bill was originally passed by the House in July following concerns that same-sex marriage — which became legal nationwide following the Supreme Court's ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015 — was now at risk in light of the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
"In future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court's substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell," wrote conservative Justice Clarence Thomas in a concurring opinion to the June ruling.
In interviews with Insider at the Capitol this week, two gay House members — Democratic Reps. Mark Pocan of Wisconsin and David Cicilline of Rhode Island — defended the way the Senate is handling the issue, despite the delays.
And they offered praise for Baldwin, who is the first openly LGBTQ member of the US Senate.
"I have a lot of confidence in Majority Leader Schumer and Senator Baldwin, who has been really carrying this legislation in the Senate, and whatever judgment they make with respect to timing," said Cicilline. "If they've made a judgement that doing it later in the year, we got a greater assurance of passage, that's the key."
"You never want to put anything up if you don't know if you have the votes," said Pocan. "Tammy is a wonderful person, and she's worked very, very hard on this."
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