Senate To Hold Test Vote On Same-Sex Marriage

November 16, 2022

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is set to hold hold a test vote Wednesday on a bill to codify same-sex marriage, betting that at least 10 Republicans will vote with all 50 Democrats.

In September, the Senate had put off a vote on the bill after Republicans in the chamber had asked for more time to lock down support.

The House has already passed legislation legalizing same-sex marriage, called the “Respect for Marriage Act.” The bill is intended to ensure that the Supreme Court does not take away the right that was guaranteed by the 2015 Supreme Court decision Obergefell v Hodges, as conservative Justice Clarence Thomas suggested was possible when the Court struck down the right to abortion in June with its ruling in Dobbs v Jackson.

If the Senate votes to move forward with the legislation, a final vote could come as soon as this week, or by the end of the month.

“I firmly believe that passing bipartisan marriage protections would be one of the more significant accomplishments in what’s already been a significantly productive Congress,” Schumer said on the Senate floor. 

It’s not yet certain whether Democrats have the 10 Republican votes necessary to overcome a filibuster on Wednesday and get a bill through the 50-50 Senate. So far, at least three Republican Senators have said they will vote for the legislation and are working with Democrats to pass it: Susan Collins of Maine, Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Rob Portman of Ohio.

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