Lacking 10 GOP Votes, Senate Negotiators Delay Marriage Equality Vote

Senators delayed a vote for a bill that would codify the right to marriage for same-sex couples until after 2022’s midterm elections. This was due to their inability of gaining support from only 10 Republicans to defeat an expected filibuster.

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D. Wisconsin), the bill’s lead sponsor, stated that she still believes that the Respect for Marriage Act will pass the chamber.

“I’m still very confident that the bill will pass, but we will be taking the bill up later, after the election,” Baldwin said, according to Politico.

Many lawmakers, who expected a vote by next week, were surprised by this move. But Baldwin, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York), and other lawmakers on the Senate negotiation team said they didn’t want to put the bill up for a vote before they knew for sure they could get the 10 GOP votes needed for it to pass.

In order to persuade undecided Republicans, the legislation will likely include “common-sense language that respects religious liberty and Americans’ diverse beliefs” while passing marriage equality protections into law, the group of Senate negotiators saidThey made a statement. They added:

We’ve asked Leader Schumer for additional time and we appreciate he has agreed. We are confident that our legislation will be approved by the Senate when it comes up for a vote.

As they noticed a shift in tone from the bipartisan Senate negotiators, it was noticeable. Confidence expressed previouslyThe bill would be up to a vote sometime this week, or as early as next Monday.

In light of the Supreme Court’s earlier this summer ruling that rescinded the abortion protections, both Democrats and LGBTQ advocates deem the bill necessary. Roe v. Wade. Justice Clarence Thomas concurred in the opinion that the Court should Reexamine every Supreme Court case that was based in part on privacy rights protections — including Obergefell v. Hodges, the 2015 ruling from the Court that recognized marriage equality throughout the U.S.

Thomas “opened the door for the Supreme Court” to undo these protections, Schumer stated this in a statement last Wednesday.

Although the bill still doesn’t have the support of the 10 GOP senators needed to pass, it does have the support of American voters overall, with nearly 6 in 10 saying they want it to become law, According to a Politico/Morning Consult poll published in this week. Fewer than 3 in 10 Americans say they don’t want the bill to pass.

Some social media users doubted that waiting until after midterms was the best decision.

“I think it’s a mistake to wait until after the midterms to vote on marriage equality,” said political writer and activist Charlotte Clymer on Twitter. “I don’t trust Senate Republicans to do the right thing in either victory or defeat. I hope I’m wrong.”

Others noted that the stakes in this year’s midterm races are now higher.

“Let’s make no mistake — if we lose control of the Senate, gay marriage protection is DOA!” tweeted author Amy Siskind. “We must mobilize the vote: the Supreme Court has all but said overturning Obergefell is next!”