No Senate moves on same-sex marriage protection until after midterms

A vote on legislation to protect same-sex marriage has been in the works, with a bipartisan group of senators hoping to get it on the table sooner rather than later, but that vote has now been delayed.

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), the chief sponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act that would hopefully secure marriage equality nationwide, announced on Thursday that the Senate will not get around to voting on the issue until after November’s midterm elections.

“I’m still very confident that the bill will pass,” Baldwin said in a quote obtained from Politico

The primary reason given for the delay is that negotiators were unable to gather 10 Republicans to break a filibuster and Baldwin, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) agreed that “they’d rather have a successful result than a failed vote that might help Democrats politically but set back their effort to codify same-sex marriage,” according to Politico.

Justin Goodman, a spokesperson for Schumer, issued a statement on his behalf saying he is “extremely disappointed that there aren’t 10 Republicans in the Senate willing to vote yes on marriage equality legislation at this time.” 

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Several senators involved with the vote made separate statements to clarify any further political angle that this delay could imply. In a statement from Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) he says “I’m convinced that this is going to pass. The people who have been negotiating it want an outcome. I reject the idea that the timing decision was political. But quite honestly, it even takes that off the table.”

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), weighing in with his own views on the delay, said “If I wanted [it] to pass and I was the majority leader and I wanted to get as many votes as I could possibly get, I’d wait until after the election.”

“[Schumer] is 100 percent committed to holding a vote on the legislation this year,” spokesperson Goodman assures. “[He] will not give up and will hold the bipartisan group to their promise that the votes to pass this marriage equality legislation will be there after the election.”

Baldwin, the first openly gay senator in history, has worked tirelessly on the Respect for Marriage Act in the hope that same-sex marriage will not meet the same fate as abortion rights did with the reversal of Roe V. Wade.

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