- The Senate on Tuesday passed a landmark bill that would recognize same-sex marriage nationwide.
- Twelve Republicans voted with Democrats for the legislation.
- The bill will head to the House, which is expected to pass it.
The Senate on Tuesday passed a landmark bill recognizing same-sex marriages nationwide. Twelve Republicans voted with all Democrats for the legislation, which also protects interracial marriage.
With a 61-36 vote, the bill is headed to the House, which is expected to pass it as soon as next week, and then to President Joe Biden's desk.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer celebrated passage of the bill by wearing the tie he wore to his daughter's wedding to her wife, he said on Tuesday.
"For millions and millions of Americans, today is a very good day," Schumer said during a speech on Tuesday morning.
The "Respect for Marriage Act" was first passed by the Democratic-controlled House in July amid concerns that the Supreme Court's June decision overturning Roe v. Wade could set a precedent that would also imperil marriage equality.
A total of 47 Republicans voted for the legislation when it passed the House in July, but the effort stalled in the Senate as lawmakers voiced concerns with religious liberty issues. Sens. Tammy Baldwin, a Wisconsin Democrat, and Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, led the bipartisan group of senators who negotiated the version of the bill that passed Tuesday.
Biden praised the group of bipartisan lawmakers in a statement on Tuesday celebrating the passage of the bill, which he said he would "proudly" sign into law upon House passage.
"The United States is on the brink of reaffirming a fundamental truth: love is love, and Americans should have the right to marry the person they love," he said in a statement.
The legislation would repeal the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between a man and woman and was deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 2013.
Large majorities of the American public support same-sex marriage rights. A June Gallup poll found 71% of Americans support marriage equality.