Today—Wednesday, November 16th, 2022—the United States Senate took a major legislative step in the effort to write into law federal protections for Same-Sex marriage. The proposed law achieved cloture in the Senate and will come to the floor for a vote where only a simple majority is required. The Senate is currently Democrat controlled.
The New York Times Reports, “The Senate on Wednesday took a crucial step toward passing landmark legislation to provide federal protections for same-sex marriages, as 12 Republicans joined Democrats to advance the Respect for Marriage Act, putting it on track to become law in the twilight of the Democratic-held Congress. The 62-37 vote, which came only days after the midterm elections in which Democrats retained control of the Senate but were on track to lose the House to Republicans, was a rare and notable last gasp of bipartisanship by a lame duck Congress as lawmakers looked toward an era of political gridlock in a divided Washington.”
This proposed bill, called the Respect for Marriage Act—a profound disrespecting of marriage—is meant to replace and overturn the Defence of Marriage Act (DOMA). According to the Cornell Law School, “The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was a federal law passed by the 104th United States Congress intended to define and protect the institution of marriage. This law specifically defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman which allowed individual states to not recognize same-sex marriages that were performed and recognized under other states’ laws. Nonetheless, this law's sections were ruled unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court in cases such as United States v. Windsor (2013) and Obergefell v. Hodges (2015).
Here’s what this means…
1 - In the wake of the 2022 Midterm elections, it appears that the Democrats will remain in control of the Senate, and the Republicans stand to take a slight majority in the House (In January of 23’). Until then, the Democrats retain control of both houses.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer stated, “....that passage of the legislation, now expected after Thanksgiving, would be “one of the true highlights of the year for this body” and “one of the more significant accomplishments of this Senate to date.”
2 - Being that the Senate is acting aggressively on this bill, it appears likely that it will move swiftly through the Senate, arriving on the President’s desk, where he has already stated his intentions to sign it into law.
It is telling political sign that 12 Republican Senators joined with the Democrats to bring this bill directly to the floor of the Senate. That is proof-positive that the once-toxic issue of same-sex marriage is now becoming mainstream in American culture.
Shamefully, both NC Republican Senators voted in favor.
Being that the Democrats retain control of both Houses until January, we ought to expect this Bill to become law soon.
3 - This bill represents a direct assault of Religious Liberty, and will make it increasingly difficult for Christians in this country to hold to Biblical truth concerning marriage.
The NYT articles reports, “The bill would not require any state to allow same-sex couples to marry. But it would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which denied federal benefits to same-sex couples.”
And while this bill may not require States to recognize Same-Sex marriage yet, it is one step closer. That time is, inevitably, coming. Christians and churches best be preparing.
We’ll need to keep watching, and discuss this in more detail and news emerges…