Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor on the Senate holding the next procedural vote for the Respect for Marriage Act this afternoon. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
As the Senate gavels back into session for the final session of the 117th Congress, there is a lot we must do before the end of the calendar year. Many of these things will require Republican cooperation to get done.
First, the Senate begins this week by picking up where we left off on the Respect for Marriage Act. As a reminder, this chamber voted 62-37 before Thanksgiving to move forward on this bill, with 12 Republicans in favor.
The Senate is scheduled to hold the next procedural vote later this afternoon, and in the meantime both sides are continuing to work together on an agreement to move this bill quickly through the chamber.
I hope we can get it done with all due speed, because millions of Americans deserve equal justice under the law and the peace of mind knowing their right to marry the person they love is protected.
Taking a step back, it’s notable that the Senate is having this debate to begin with. A decade ago, it would have strained all of our imaginations to envision both sides talking about protecting the rights of same-sex married couples. America does move forward, although sometimes in difficult ways. And sometimes it’s two steps forward, one step back, but today is a big step forward.
But we know that for all the progress, though, we’ve made on same-sex marriage, the rights of all married couples will never truly be safe without the proper protections under federal law, and that’s why the Respect for Marriage Act is necessary.
And as I’ve said many times, this legislation is deeply personal to many of us in this chamber, myself included. Passing this bill is our chance to send a message to Americans everywhere: no matter who you are or who you love, you too deserve dignity and equal treatment under the law.
That’s about as American an ideal as it comes, so I hope the Senate can finish the work we’ve started and pass the Respect for Marriage Act as soon as possible.