US Senate passes law protecting same-sex marriage

The US Senate voted on Tuesday a law protecting same-sex marriage across the United States, for fear of a reversal of the Supreme Court in the matter.

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The text was approved by 61 votes to 36.

« The United States is about to reaffirm a fundamental truth: love is love and Americans should be able to marry the person they love, » President Joe Biden said in a statement.

The House of Representatives had already validated a very similar text in July, supported by all Democrats and 47 Republicans. It must now decide once again on this amended law in order to harmonize the two texts, which should only be a formality.

Once passed by the lower house of Congress, the law will land on the desk of Joe Biden, who has pledged to sign it “quickly.”

“After months of hard work, after many cross-partisan negotiations, after many doubts, we are taking a decisive step towards greater justice for Americans in the LGBTQ community”, applauded the leader of the Democrats in the Senate, Chuck Schumer.

Same-sex unions have been guaranteed by the U.S. Supreme Court since 2015. But after the high court’s historic flip-flop on abortion, many progressives fear that right may also be unraveled.

Historical breakthrough

In concrete terms, the law repeals previous legislation defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman and prohibits civil registrars — regardless of the state in which they work — from discriminating against couples « on the basis of their sex, race, ethnicity or origin”. This text also applies to interracial couples.

« Today’s vote has extremely personal implications for many of us in this chamber, » said Chuck Schumer, wearing the tie he wore to his daughter and girlfriend’s wedding.

The powerful civil rights association ACLU hailed for its part Tuesday evening a “historic advance” for the rights of LGBT + families, while denouncing the increase in laws going against the rights of transgender people in several states across the country.

« While we applaud the historic vote on this measure, members of Congress must also fight as if the lives of transgender people depend on their efforts, because it does, » the organization said in a statement.

A large majority of Americans support same-sex marriage, including in the Republican ranks. But the religious right remains mostly opposed to it.


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