Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor on tomorrow’s procedural vote on the Respect for Marriage Act. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
The 117th Congress will go down, I believe, as one of the most successful Congresses we’ve seen in decades. We’re all so proud of that fact. Over the last two years this chamber has passed historic and bipartisan bills that covered everything from infrastructure, to gun safety, to Chips and Science, to veteran’s aid, and more. Again, the common theme for many of these bills was bipartisanship.
Very soon, the Senate can add to our accomplishments when we vote to proceed on the Respect for Marriage Act. For the information of all Senators, we will hold our first procedural vote on this bill tomorrow, and after that I hope both sides can work quickly together to move this bill through the Senate and on to the President’s desk.
I firmly believe that passing bipartisan marriage protections would be one of the more significant accomplishments in what’s already been a significantly productive Congress. It will do so much good for so many people who want nothing more than to live their lives without the fear of discrimination.
And make no mistake that passing the Respect for Marriage Act is as personal as it gets for many of us in this chamber, myself included, so we want to get this done as soon as we can.
A mere decade ago, marriage discrimination was legal in many places across the country. And just a few months ago, when the Supreme Court overturned Roe, Justice Thomas wrote in a concurring opinion that Obergefell—which recognized the constitutional right to same sex marriage— could similarly be overturned.
I hope that never happens, but the Senate can eliminate the risk of LGBTQ Americans having their rights curtailed if we act now to codify marriage projections into law.
Now, the Respect for Marriage Act is precisely the kind of bill that Democrats and Republicans can rally around together, and which Americans across the country want to see us work on. It already passed the House earlier this year with significant—forty-seven—Republican votes, and I’m optimistic we can achieve a similar result in this chamber. Senators Baldwin, Sinema, and a number of my Republican colleagues, including Senators Collins, and Portman, and Tillis, have done excellent work building support for this bill, and I want to recognize all their efforts here on the floor.
I hope that at minimum ten Republicans will be ready to throw their support behind this sound, commonsense bill. Millions of people will be better off if we are able to work together on this important and highly personal issue, and so I urge all of us to vote yes when the time comes to move forward tomorrow.