The Senate is set to vote Tuesday on final passage of a bipartisan bill to protect same-sex and interracial marriage.
The chamber on Monday night reached an agreement to hold three amendment votes starting at 3:45 p.m. ET before a final passage vote. The bill is expected to pass the Senate. The House would then need to approve the legislation before sending it to President Joe Biden’s desk to be signed into law.
Supporters of the bill hope to pass the legislation through the House before the end of the year with Republicans set to take control of the chamber in January.
While the bill would not set a national requirement that all states must legalize same-sex marriage, it would require individual states to recognize another state’s legal marriage.
So, in the event the Supreme Court might overturn its 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision that legalized same-sex marriage, a state could still pass a law to ban same-sex marriage, but that state would be required to recognize a same-sex marriage from another state.
The legislation cleared a key procedural hurdle earlier this month, when the Senate voted 62-37 to break a filibuster.
The bipartisan group, which includes Republican Sens. Rob Portman of Ohio, Susan Collins of Maine and Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Democratic Sens. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, previously said in a statement that they looked “forward to this legislation coming to the floor.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer cited those five senators for their “outstanding and relentless work” on this landmark legislation during a floor speech Tuesday morning.
“For millions and millions of Americans, today is a very good day,” he said. “An important day. A day that’s been a long time coming.”
In a sign of how much support has grown in recent years for same-sex marriage, the bill found backing from GOP senators including those in deeply red states.
Republican Sen. Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming told CNN’s Manu Raju earlier this month that she voted to advance the Senate’s same-sex marriage bill due to “Article 1, Section 3 of the Wyoming Constitution,” which she read to reporters and includes an anti-discrimination clause.
“That’s why we’re called the equality state,” she added.
Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, meanwhile, said the “bill made sense” and “provides important religious liberty protections.”
“While I believe in traditional marriage, Obergefell is and has been the law of the land upon which LGBTQ individuals have relied,” Romney said in a statement. “This legislation provides certainty to many LGBTQ Americans, and it signals that Congress – and I – esteem and love all of our fellow Americans equally.”