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Senate Expected to Have a Gay Day Today

That headline would have meant something quite different 100 years ago. But what it means in 2022 is that, now that the midterm elections are (largely) in the rear-view mirror, the Senate is ready to vote on a bill that would formally legalize same-sex marriage, making it rather harder for the Supreme Court to get involved in the matter by overturning Obergefell v. Hodges. This is something that Clarence Thomas has already signaled an interest in doing.

Today's vote is just procedural; the first step to bringing a bill to the floor of the Senate. Nonetheless, it should make clear where the various senators stand. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) has been working on putting together the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster. Delaying the legislation until after the election was a key concession needed to get those 10 votes. So, unless some number of Republicans go back on their promises, then the procedural vote, and ultimately the underlying legislation, should succeed.

In a pretty instructive sign that this fight has reached its conclusion, the LDS Church yesterday threw its support behind the bill. Actually, the linked news story says the Church "came out" in favor of the bill, which is certainly interesting wording. LDS adherents are pretty socially conservative, and the press release Church leadership sent out yesterday made clear that their position is that marriage is between one man and one woman. But they realize that the bill allows them to discriminate against LGBTQ people in some circumstances, and LDS leadership would prefer that to a bill that outlaws all discrimination against LGBTQ people.

Once the bill passes—and again, it looks like it will—then that will be the latest setback for the evangelical/social conservative cause resulting from the Dobbs decision. As they say, be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it. (Z)

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