Gay Marriage Bill Hits Snag in Senate; No Vote Until after Elections

Legislation in the Senate to protect gay marriage was delayed on Thursday until after the midterm elections, as negotiators failed to win enough Republican support to pass the bill, Reuters reported.

The delay until after the Nov. 8 congressional elections dashed the hopes of advocates who were fighting for prompt action on a bill already passed by the House of Representatives. 

The bill would ensure protection for same-sex and interracial marriages.

The move came after weeks of closed-door talks between a small group of Democratic and Republican senators who looked at ways to amend the House bill in order to attract at least 10 Republican supporters who would join 48 Democrats and two independents.

The need to protect gay and interracial marriages has come after the conservative Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to an abortion at the federal level. Americans now fear that the next human right on the chopping will be gay marriage. 

The U.S. Census Bureau in 2019 estimated that there were 543,000 same-sex married couple households and 469,000 households with same-sex unmarried partners living together.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is “extremely disappointed” that there were not at least 10 out of 50 Republicans willing to come forward to support the gay rights legislation, spokesman Justin Goodman said in a statement.

The thinking behind the delay is that following the midterm elections Republican senators will feel freer to back the legislation at a time when any voter backlash would be two years away with the next elections.

The House Democrats passed the measure in July with the backing of 47 Republicans. But the Senate failed to win enough Republican support. 

Some supporters of the gay marriage bill said the real snag was that there just were not enough Republicans willing to back any such bill, especially six weeks before the elections.

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