sunny.png
Saturday January 28th, 2023 12:51PM

Democrats punt same-sex marriage vote until after election

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats are punting a vote to protect same-sex and interracial marriages until after the November midterm elections, pulling back just days after Majority Leader Chuck Schumer vowed to put the Senate on the record on the issue “in the coming weeks.”

The delay was requested by key senators who have been negotiating changes to the legislation and comes at a time when many Republicans have been signaling opposition.

Wisconsin Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin, the lead champion of the bill, had predicted they would be able to secure the 10 Republican votes needed to break a filibuster and push it to passage. But hopes dimmed in recent days as some Republicans raised concerns about whether the bill would protect the rights of religious institutions, business owners or others who oppose same-sex marriage.

The decision adds to the uncertainty facing the legislation, as it gives interest groups and other lawmakers opposing the bill more time to rally Republicans against it. But supporters hope that by pushing the vote back, they will relieve election-year pressure from some conservative voters and persuade more Republicans to support the legislation.

“We’ve asked Leader Schumer for additional time and we appreciate he has agreed,” Baldwin said in a statement, along with other members of the bipartisan group that is negotiating the bill. "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.”

The statement from Baldwin, Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Rob Portman of Ohio and Thom Tillis of North Carolina came after a meeting with Schumer, who had been considering a vote as soon as next week.

A spokesman for Schumer said he is “100 percent committed” to holding a vote.

“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,” said Schumer spokesman Justin Goodman.

Democrats and the small group of Republicans have moved to safeguard same-sex marriage following the Supreme Court decision over the summer that overturned Roe v. Wade and the federal right to an abortion. Lawmakers fear the court’s ruling, and a concurring opinion from Justice Clarence Thomas, indicate that an earlier high court decision protecting same-sex marriage could come under threat.

“We all want to pass this quickly,” Schumer said last week. “I hope there will be 10 Republicans to support it.”

The Senate push for the historic vote — and the openness by some Republicans to back it in an election year — reflects a large shift on the issue since the Supreme Court’s 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision legalizing gay marriage nationwide. Polling shows widespread public support for allowing such unions.

The bipartisan group has been working closely with the GOP senators who are open to the legislation but have religious liberty concerns. They finalized an amendment this week that would clarify that the legislation does not affect the rights of such private individuals or businesses — rights that are already enshrined in law. The legislation requires the federal government and states to recognize all marriages that were legal where they were performed, along with interracial marriages.

“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 group said in the statement.

But some Republicans who had wavered on the bill were not yet on board.

Responding to the group's statement Thursday, the White House emphasized again that the administration was leaving the mechanics of the legislation — such as the timing of a vote — to the Senate.

“We believe the Senate should find consensus just as the American people have,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Thursday.

The bill protecting same-sex marriage cleared the House in a July vote with the support of 47 Republicans — a larger than expected number that gave the measure a boost in the Senate. But as the weeks went on, more Republicans raised religious liberty issues.

Another proposed tweak to the bill would make clear that a marriage is between two people, an effort to ward off some far-right criticism that the legislation could endorse polygamy.

It's not clear how many Republicans would support the bill. In addition to Collins, Portman and Tillis, a fourth GOP senator, Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, has supported same-sex marriage in the past. Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, who is up for reelection this year, has said he doesn’t see a “reason to oppose it” but has talked on both sides of the issue in recent weeks.

Most Republicans opposing the legislation have said it is simply unnecessary because the court ruling still stands. But others have gone further.

One group that has been opposed, the conservative Alliance Defending Freedom, has pushed back on the legislation.

“In the grander scheme, the Respect for Marriage Act is a way of putting an exclamation mark on the sexual revolution and its ideology,” wrote Ryan Womack, who works for the group, in a blog posted on its website.

___

Associated Press writer Seung Min Kim contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Online Supreme Court News
© Copyright 2023 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Rookie WR Drake London flies home when Falcons visit LA Rams
Drake London spent the past three seasons tearing up college defenses for USC, so football fans in his native Southern California weren’t surprised when the big receiver got off to a strong NFL start with the Atlanta Falcons
3:32PM ( 7 minutes ago )
From carmakers to refiners, industries brace for rail strike
Carmakers say buyers might not get the vehicle they want on time, commuter rail lines could see service disrupted, and shipments from everything from oil to livestock feed could be disrupted
3:25PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Democrats punt same-sex marriage vote until after election
Democrats are punting a vote to protect same-sex and interracial marriages until after the November midterm elections, a blow for the legislation that comes days after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer vowed to put the Senate on the record on the issue “in the coming weeks.”
3:24PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Montana judge blocks anti-trans birth certificate rule
A Montana judge has blocked health officials from enforcing a state rule that would prevent transgender people from changing the gender on their birth certificate
3:07PM ( 33 minutes ago )
Tentative labor deal averts threat of nationwide rail strike
Rail companies and their workers reached a tentative agreement to avert a nationwide strike that could have shut down the nation’s freight trains and devastated the economy less than two months before the midterm elections
3:00PM ( 40 minutes ago )
Weeks-long boil water notice lifted in Mississippi capital
A boil-water notice has been lifted in Mississippi’s capital city after nearly seven weeks
2:55PM ( 44 minutes ago )
AP National News
Lebanese cheer as their dancers win America's Got Talent
Lebanon is celebrating the victory of a female dance troupe from this crisis-hit Mideast country in the America's Got Talent competition show
1:13PM ( 2 hours ago )
Retail sales up 0.3% in Aug. from July amid inflation
Americans picked up their spending a bit in August from July even as surging inflation on household necessities like rent and food take a toll on household budgets
12:37PM ( 3 hours ago )
Declassified report shows US predictions of IS group threat
A newly declassified U.S. intelligence report predicted in 2020 that the Islamic State group was likely to regain much of its former strength and global influence, particularly if American and Western forces reduced their role in countering the extremist movement
12:21PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online National News
Rioter who wore 'Camp Auschwitz' sweatshirt gets jail term
A Virginia man who stormed the U.S. Capitol while wearing an antisemitic “Camp Auschwitz” sweatshirt over a Nazi-themed shirt has been sentenced to 75 days of imprisonment
3:06PM ( 35 minutes ago )
US hits more Russians with sanctions over Ukraine
The Biden administration is slapping sanctions on dozens of Russian and Ukrainian officials and a number of Russian companies for human rights abuses and the theft of Ukrainian grain
3:03PM ( 37 minutes ago )
Live updates: Australia's PM backs king on climate change
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says it would be “perfectly acceptable” for King Charles III to continue to advocate for climate change action in his new apolitical role
2:40PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
What's next for the UK as Queen Elizabeth II laid to rest
The death of Queen Elizabeth II has triggered a tightly choreographed series of ceremonial and constitutional steps, as Britain undergoes a national mourning and heralds the reign of King Charles III
8:51AM ( 6 hours ago )
China slams US Senate bill supporting Taiwan's defense
China’s Foreign Ministry is accusing the United States of violating its commitment to the “One China” principle and interfering in internal Chinese affairs
6:43AM ( 8 hours ago )
A new space race? China adds urgency to US return to moon
It’s not just rocket fuel propelling America’s first moonshot after a half-century lull
6:20AM ( 9 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Close New Hampshire Senate primary tests direction of GOP
The Republican contest for Senate in New Hampshire remains a tight race between conservative Donald Bolduc and the more moderate Chuck Morse
8:48AM ( 1 day ago )
New Hampshire caps primaries with fresh test of GOP's future
New Hampshire Republicans are picking their party’s candidate to face off with incumbent Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan in a key midterm race the GOP has long seen as winnable and which could ultimately decide control of the chamber after November
8:28PM ( 1 day ago )
Midterm primaries wrap up with fresh test of GOP's future
A staunchly conservative, retired Army general is favored to win New Hampshire’s Republican Senate nomination and face potentially vulnerable Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan
4:30PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Online Supreme Court News
Rookie WR Drake London flies home when Falcons visit LA Rams
Drake London spent the past three seasons tearing up college defenses for USC, so football fans in his native Southern California weren’t surprised when the big receiver got off to a strong NFL start with the Atlanta Falcons
3:32PM ( 9 minutes ago )
From carmakers to refiners, industries brace for rail strike
Carmakers say buyers might not get the vehicle they want on time, commuter rail lines could see service disrupted, and shipments from everything from oil to livestock feed could be disrupted
3:25PM ( 16 minutes ago )
US warns monkeypox could mutate to resist antiviral drug
U.S. health officials are warning doctors against overusing the lone drug available to treat monkeypox
3:21PM ( 20 minutes ago )
Live updates: Prince says procession aroused Diana memories
Prince William has told well-wishers that walking behind the coffin of his late grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, brought back memories of the funeral of his mother, Princess Diana
3:16PM ( 25 minutes ago )
Biden nominates US attorney for Florida Mar-a-Lago district
President Joe Biden has nominated a Miami litigator and longtime government lawyer to serve as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida, the office currently involved in the search warrants at the Mar-a-Lago home of former President Donald Trump
3:14PM ( 27 minutes ago )