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Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks Announcing The Senate Will Vote On Marriage Equality In The Coming Weeks

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor to announce that the U.S. Senate is going to vote on marriage equality in the weeks order to ensure no American is discriminated against because of whom they loveBelow are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

Four words are inscribed in the stone above the United States Supreme Court: “Equal Justice Under Law.” Equal justice under law.

In many ways, the story of America has been about making those words true for all Americans. Sometimes we take bold steps forward. Other times, unfortunately, we take disturbing steps backwards.

We all know when the constitution was written, there was not equal justice under law. That's pretty obvious. Many people were excluded from voting and other rights. But we have tried to move forward, and that's one of the beautiful things about America. We keep moving forward. We push.

But unfortunately, today America finds itself in one of those frightening moments of regression. A few months ago, tens of millions of women saw their fundamental right to choose taken away before their very eyes. Justice Thomas, in a concurring opinion, suggested that other rights, like the freedom to marry protected in Obergefell, might come next.

The mere thought should make us sick to our stomachs. The Senate has a responsibility now to act.

Because of this threat, the Senate will hold a vote on the Respect for Marriage Act in the coming weeks, so that no American is discriminated against because of whom they love.

My colleagues Senators Baldwin, Sinema, and others have worked for months to build bipartisan support for this legislation. I applaud them for their efforts.

I hope that we will get at least ten Republicans to join us to pass marriage equality through the Senate. If the Respect for Marriage Act can win significant Republican support in the House, there is no legitimate reason for Republicans in this chamber to stand in the way.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve heard many on the other side say, well this vote isn’t necessary. They say marriage equality is not something Americans spend a lot of time thinking about anymore. They want us to believe that the Supreme Court would never do something as reckless as reversing the precedent of marriage equality that millions have relied on for years.

Well, where oh where have we heard that before?

The very same people who suggested that Roe was established precedent now want us to think that the Supreme Court won’t go further, even though a sitting Justice on the highest court in the land openly said something to the contrary. And he’s often joined by four others.

Lest we forget, marriage equality was not the law of the land a decade ago. Discrimination against LGBTQ Americans still continues to this day.

MAGA Republicans have escalated their rhetoric against same sex marriage and want to normalize gender discrimination. MAGA Republicans seem to make it their business to pick on certain groups; not to do things that are positive and move things forward, but to sort of just point their fingers at someone and blame them for some abstract reason that really doesn’t hurt them at all. That’s where this Republican Party, unfortunately, too many of them, are headed, led by these MAGA Republicans and often fomented by former President Trump.

Earlier this year – here’s what I’m talking about, this isn’t pie in the sky – the Texas GOP earlier this year even adopted a party platform – this is the largest Republican state in the country, the one with the most congressional delegates, congressional representatives – the Texas GOP adopted this year a party platform that said “homosexuality is an abnormal lifestyle choice.” Let me repeat that, the largest Republican state in the country, its Republican Party, captured by absurd MAGA fervor, said “homosexuality is an abnormal lifestyle choice.” Just yesterday a judge said that employers can deny access to medication if they believe it would encourage homosexuality.

And we all know that these MAGA Republicans and their ilk, led by this man, Leonard Leo, with billions of dollars of dark money, used the courts to move America backward, move the courts to move America backward. And that’s what happened yesterday, with this judge coming up with this absurd, obnoxious, despicable resolution.

I trust that the radical views of that judge and of that Texas GOP are not something that many of us embrace here in this chamber. But we can’t act as if our fundamental rights will stay safe if we aren’t willing to safeguard them through legislation. If we’re going to let these MAGA judges, right-wing, appointed by Leonard Leo and the Federalist Society - if we’re not going to let them move America backward, then we have an obligation to act.

So let me make clear that a vote on marriage equality will happen on the Senate floor in the coming weeks, and I hope there will be at least 10 Republicans to support it.