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Sherrod Brown express frustration over the delay in Respect for Marriage bill

Sherrod Brown
Tom Williams
Pool via AP
Chairman Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, questions Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen as she testifies before the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing, Tuesday, May 10, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Democrats who have a slim majority in the U.S. Senate have decided to wait to vote on a bill on federal protections for same-sex and interracial marriages, though nearly a quarter of all Republicans joined all Democrats in voting for the bill in the House in July.

Ohio’s Sherrod Brown is disappointed there won’t be a vote sooner.

What’s being called the Respect for Marriage Act is supported by all Democrats in the Senate. But Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has announced a vote won’t happen before the election. Brown said that’s because Republicans are saying they’ll vote no because it’s too political.

“…As if the right wing in this country hasn't politicized abortion and guns and marriage equality and gay rights and equal rights and civil rights. And to me, it's not political. It's what we stand for as a country. It's human rights,” Brown said.

The Respect for Marriage Act would repeal provisions that define marriage in federal law as only between one man and one woman, and would require all states to recognize same-sex marriage at the federal level.

Five of the 10 Republican Senators needed to pass the Respect for Marriage Act have come forward with a commitment to yes, including Ohio’s Rob Portman.

Portman said he’s working with Democrats on the bill’s language after concerns were raised by Christian groups that don’t support marriage equality.

Th passed the U.S. House in July with support from all Democrats and 47 Republicans voting for it including Ohio Reps. Mike Carey, Anthony Gonzalez, Dave Joyce and Mike Turner.

Portman said the language is being retooled because of concerns by a Christian legal defense group and hundreds of religious groups that don’t support marriage equality for same-sex couples.

Dozens of other religious groups and hundreds of businesses have also signed onto a letter sent last week supporting the Respect for Marriage Act, saying marriage is a “matter of human dignity.”

Copyright 2022 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.