The  on Wednesday passed a procedural hurdle to end debate on the Respect for Marriage Act, a House-passed bill that would enshrine same-sex marriage rights into law. 

The bill broke a Senate filibuster with 62 lawmakers voting ‘yes,’ including 12 Republicans.

The bill will now go to a final vote which will likely occur after , before the revised version goes back to the House for a final vote and the bill heads to President Biden’s desk. 

 had promised to push through the gay marriage bill while they still control both chambers. 

They had warned that gay marriage and even interracial marriage rights could be at risk after the  overturned Roe v.Wade. 

Their warnings came after Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in an opinion that privacy rights such as gay marriage and contraception could be ‘revisited’ after the legal ruling establishing a right to an abortion was overturned. 

Republicans who voted no said it was ‘unnecessary’ because Obergefell is ‘settled into law’ and has ‘no chance of being overturned’. 

Wisconsin GOP Senator Ron Johnson said: ‘The Democrats have used this to create a state of fear over a settled issue in order to further divide Americans for their political benefit.

‘Religious liberty should be upheld for all and those with sincerely held religious beliefs should not be discriminated against for their views on marriage,’ he added. 

President Biden celebrated the Senate passing the first hurdle by saying ‘love is love’ and ‘Americans should have the right to marry the person they love’.

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, announced he would support the bill after his church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said it would back the legislation if it includes an amendment to strengthen religious liberties

‘Today’s bipartisan vote brings the United States one step closer to protecting that right in law. 

‘The Respect for Marriage Act will ensure that LGBTQI+ couples and interracial couples are respected and protected equally under federal law, and provide more certainty to these families since the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs. 

‘I want to thank the Members of Congress whose leadership has sent a strong message that Republicans and Democrats can work together to secure the fundamental right of Americans to marry the person they love. 

‘I urge Congress to quickly send this bill to my desk where I will promptly sign it into law.’

In a vote over the summer, 47 House Republicans joined Democrats in voting for the bill.Others who oppose the bill have deemed it little more than political messaging since gay marriage was legalized in the Obergefell case in 2012. 

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