Senator Portman signs amendment to help pass Respect for Marriage Act
As Columbus lawmakers prepare for a busy legislative session, U.S. Senator Rob Portman announced a significant development for same-sex marriage protections. The incumbent Republican senator has struck a deal with a bipartisan group of lawmakers to potentially advance the Respect for Marriage Act.
In addition to Portman, the US Sens. Tammy Baldwin, D-WI, Susan Collins, R-ME, Kyrsten Sinema, D-AZ and Thom Tillis, R-NC signed the substitutions. Key provisions of the bill — federal recognition of any valid marriage and “full faith and credit” regardless of gender, race, ethnicity or national origin — remain intact.
But the amendment provides guarantees that religious institutions will not be required to recognize or perform same-sex marriages. It also ensures that organizations do not risk their tax-exempt status if they do not recognize such couples and explicitly refuse to recognize polygamous marriages. These assurances were probably necessary to rally more Conservative members.
“The Respect for Marriage Act is a necessary step to provide millions of couples in love in same-sex and interracial marriages with the certainty that they will continue to enjoy the freedoms, rights and responsibilities afforded to all other marriages,” Portman said in a statement. .
This certainty was only called into question in June when the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. In a concurring opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas considered overturning a series of long-standing precedents that protect access to contraceptives, the right to private and consensual sex and same-sex marriage.
House lawmakers passed the Respect for Marriage Act less than a month later, but the measure stalled in the Senate.
“Through bipartisan collaboration,” Portman’s statement continued, “we have crafted common-sense language to confirm that this legislation fully respects and protects Americans’ religious freedoms and diverse beliefs, while leaving the core mission intact. legislation to protect marriage equality.
Portman then expressed confidence that their changes had “helped gain the broad bipartisan support needed” to pass the legislation. Ahead of the election, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer guaranteed a vote on the measure, and it’s one of Democrats’ priorities for the lame duck session. Semafor News reported that senators plan to vote on the bill this week.
If they have the votes to avoid a buccaneer, it would end up being one of Portman’s last pieces of legislation and an interesting highlight of his congressional career. In 2013, two years before the Supreme Court guaranteed the right to same-sex marriage in Obergefell, Portman changed his position and expressed his support for marriage equality. At the time, he attributed the change of heart to his son coming out of the closet.
However, they will have to move if they want to ensure passage. Earlier this summer, Portman’s successor, Republican JD Vance, voiced his opposition to the Honor Marriage Act. He argued that the law did not strike a good balance.
“You want to make sure, of course, that people have respect in their situation,” Vance said at the time. “You also want to make sure that if you’re a church or nonprofit, you can actually run your church or nonprofit according to your own values.”
The amendment introduced on Monday attempts to address such concerns. Vance’s team did not respond to a request for comment.
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