The Senate on Wednesday cleared a key procedural hurdle toward historic passage of the bipartisan bill to protect same-sex and interracial marriage, voting 62-37 to break a filibuster.
The bipartisan bill, sponsored by Senators Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), is expected to easily pass the Senate and then move to the House, where it is also expected to pass. If it becomes law, it would be a major victory for LGBTQ rights and would solidify same-sex marriage as the law of the land.
The bill has the support of many major LGBTQ organizations, including the Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Legal, and the ACLU. “This bill is a critical step in ensuring that no matter where you live, your marriage will be recognized by your home state,” said HRC President Alphonso David in a statement. “With the Equality Act also moving forward in the House, we are one step closer to full federal equality for LGBTQ people.”
The bill has also been endorsed by a number of major corporations, including Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Amazon. In a joint statement, the companies said, “We believe that LGBTQ+ rights are human rights and that our employees, customers, and suppliers should not be discriminated against on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.”
The Senate vote comes just a day after the House passed the Equality Act, which would provide comprehensive protections for LGBTQ people by prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, education, credit, jury service, and public accommodations. The Equality Act would also expand the federal definition of public accommodations to include places like retail stores, services providers, and transportation services.
Both the House and the Senate must now pass the bill before it can be sent to the President to be signed into law.