In the immediate wake of the Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe v. Wade, a brief aside from Justice Clarence Thomas about sending other major SCOTUS decisions back to the states spurred Democrats to action. A bill to codify same-sex marriage was quickly drafted and sailed through the House vote, with the support of all the Democrats and 47 Republicans. Its odds in the Senate are more daunting, but there are early signs that it might just make it. If so, it would be an unexpected consequence of Roe’s overturn and put same-sex marriage.
If all 50 Democrats support the bill, the party will still need the support of at least 10 Republicans to overcome a filibuster. Those sorts of numbers have been hard to come by in our era of polarized partisanship, but at last some Republicans appear ready to vote with the opposing party. If that support can broaden, the bill might just pass.
Ohio Senator Rob Portman is expected to support the bill. In 2015, Portman became the first Republican politician to publicly support same-sex marriage after his son came out as gay. North Carolina Senator Sen. Thom Tillis and Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski are also likely to vote yes. On Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer hinted at further progress, saying “we’re working to get the necessary Senate Republican support to ensure it would pass.”
The bill would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), prohibiting any states of discriminating against same-sex marriage even if the Supreme Court were to overturn Obergefell. It would also codify interracial marriage, which the Supreme Court made a federal right in 1967 with Loving v. Virginia.