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What was the vote on the Marriage Equality Act?

The Marriage Equality Act was a landmark piece of legislation that aimed at promoting equality and preventing discrimination against same-sex couples in the United States. The bill was introduced in the Senate in 2011, and after a long and contentious battle, it was finally passed in 2012. This blog post will delve into the details of the vote on the Marriage Equality Act, including its background, political context, and significance.


The campaign for marriage equality had been ongoing for several decades before the introduction of the Marriage Equality Act. In the 1990s, Hawaii became the first state to recognize same-sex couples’ rights to marriage, but this was blocked by a constitutional amendment in 1998. Other states followed suit, with some allowing same-sex couples the right to enter into civil unions or domestic partnerships. However, it was not until the 2003 Supreme Court ruling in Lawrence v. Texas that the legal framework for same-sex couples began to change.

The case involved the arrest of two men who were engaged in consensual sodomy, which was then illegal in Texas. The Supreme Court ruled that laws criminalizing homosexuality were unconstitutional, thus paving the way for the legalization of same-sex marriages.

Political context

The vote on the Marriage Equality Act was a significant victory for the LGBTQ+ community and marked a major milestone in its struggle for equal rights. The bill was introduced in the Senate in 2011 by Senator Dianne Feinstein, but it faced fierce opposition from conservative legislators and religious organizations.

Opponents of the bill argued that allowing same-sex couples to marry would undermine traditional marriage and destabilize society. Some also questioned the legal basis for same-sex marriage, arguing that it went against the definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman.

Despite these objections, the Marriage Equality Act had widespread support from a liberal coalition of lawmakers, LGBTQ+ advocates, and civil rights organizations. Supporters of the bill argued that denying marriage rights to same-sex couples was a form of discrimination and that it violated the constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process.

The vote and its significance

The vote on the Marriage Equality Act took place on December 7, 2012, and was a historic moment for the LGBTQ+ community. The bill passed with a vote of 61-36, with a majority of Democrats and a few Republicans voting in favor of it. President Barack Obama signed it into law on December 14, 2012, making it the first federal law to recognize the rights of same-sex couples.

The significance of the Marriage Equality Act extended far beyond legalizing same-sex marriage. It was a symbolic victory that represented a fundamental shift in attitudes toward LGBTQ+ rights in the United States. The passage of the bill signaled to the rest of the world that the United States was committed to upholding the values of equality and justice for all, regardless of sexual orientation.

Furthermore, the Marriage Equality Act helped to pave the way for other LGBTQ+ rights initiatives in the years that followed. These included efforts to end discrimination in employment, housing, and healthcare, as well as the repeal of the controversial “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy that banned openly LGBTQ+ individuals from serving in the military.


The vote on the Marriage Equality Act was a hard-fought victory that marked a turning point in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights. The act legalized same-sex marriage at the federal level, symbolizing a broader shift in attitudes and values toward LGBTQ+ individuals. Although there is still a long way to go in the struggle for equality, the passage of the bill gave hope to millions of Americans who had been marginalized and discriminated against for far too long.


How many votes did the U.S. Senate get for the Respect for Marriage Act?

The Respect for Marriage Act was a bill introduced in the Senate to federally recognize same-sex and interracial marriages across the United States. The bill garnered support from 61 senators who voted in favor of its passing, while 36 voted against it. This historic vote took place on a certain date and marks a significant turning point in the struggle for equal rights for all Americans. The bill’s passing has contributed greatly to the fight for equal rights for the LGBTQ+ community across the United States. It also serves as a testament to the power of individuals coming together to enact meaningful legislative changes that positively impact the nation and society as a whole. this vote demonstrated the progress we have made as a country towards promoting equality and acceptance for all, regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, or race.

Was the federal marriage amendment passed?

In 2004, a version of the Federal Marriage Amendment was introduced in the United States Senate. This amendment, if passed, would have added a provision to the United States Constitution stating that marriage in the United States only consists of the union between a man and a woman. Supporters argued that the amendment was necessary to protect traditional marriage and defend against attempts to legalize same-sex marriage.

However, the amendment never passed. While the Senate did vote on the amendment, it failed to achieve the necessary two-thirds majority to advance. The final vote was 50 in favor and 48 against, which meant that the amendment did not move forward to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Despite the failure of the Federal Marriage Amendment, a number of states continued to debate and pass their own laws related to same-sex marriage. In 2015, the United States Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, finding that states could not ban same-sex marriage and that all couples, regardless of gender, have the constitutional right to marry. This ruling effectively legalized same-sex marriage throughout the United States.

While the Federal Marriage Amendment was proposed in 2004, it ultimately never passed. However, the debate over same-sex marriage has continued, and the issue has been resolved by the Supreme Court’s ruling in 2015 that legalized same-sex marriage.

What is the Senate voting on?

The Senate, as one of the two chambers of the United States Congress, has the responsibility of voting on a wide range of matters. These matters can include laws, resolutions, motions, amendments, nominations, and treaties. When a bill or resolution is introduced, it is usually referred to a committee for review and possible amendment. If the committee approves the bill, it is then reported to the floor of the Senate, where it is debated and discussed. At this point, senators may offer amendments, and the bill may be further debated and voted on.

If a bill passes with a simple majority, it is sent to the House of Representatives for consideration. If the House of Representatives approves it, the bill is sent to the President for signature into law. If the President vetoes the bill, the Senate and House may override the veto with a two-thirds majority vote.

The Senate can also vote on motions, which are proposals for specific actions, such as instructing a committee to investigate a certain matter. In addition, the Senate has the responsibility of confirming or rejecting presidential nominations for high-level positions in the Executive Branch, including cabinet secretaries, federal judges, and ambassadors. The Senate also has the power to ratify treaties made by the President with foreign countries.

When it is time to vote, the Senate uses a variety of methods. If a roll-call vote is requested, each senator present must cast their vote, and the results are recorded. If a voice vote is taken, senators simply say “yea” or “nay” in response to the question, and the presiding officer reports the results.

The Senate is responsible for voting on a range of matters, including bills, resolutions, motions, amendments, nominations, and treaties. These issues are critically important to the functioning of the US government, and require careful consideration and debate to ensure that the best decisions are made.