Watch CBS News

Senate Democrats consider linking marriage equality and short-term government funding

Senior Senate Democrats have been considering linking legislation on marriage equality and the continuing resolution to fund the government, a Hill Democratic source tells CBS News. 

It's a move that could complicate both the passage of the bill protecting the right to same-sex marriage, passed with bipartisan support in the House, and government funding. 

Democrats in particular want to avoid a government shutdown ahead of critical midterm elections. A continuing resolution, or CR, is a stopgap measure to fund the government temporarily until comprehensive spending legislation can be passed. The White House has asked Congress to provide emergency funding of $47 billion for COVID-19-related needs, resources to battle monkeypox, Ukraine aid and natural disaster response.

The bill would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and provide federal protections for same-sex and interracial couples. The measure passed the House in July, with 47 Republicans joining every Democrat in the House to support it. 

But not all Democrats want to link government funding with the marriage equality bill. Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin's office said "attaching the legislation to a CR is not the senator's preferred path, as she would like to see it taken up sooner." 

"The senator's goal is to pass the Respect for Marriage Act and she will do whatever it takes to get there," Baldwin's office said. "Individuals in same-sex and interracial marriages need, and should have, the confidence that their marriage is legal, and these loving couples should be guaranteed the same rights and freedoms of every other marriage."

Congressional Democrats mounted the legislative response about a month after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the law that established women's rights to an abortion. A concurring opinion in the decision striking down Roe, by Justice Clarence Thomas, suggested that Supreme Court decisions involving access to contraception and same-sex marriage should be reconsidered. The House held votes on a pair of bills to address concerns that more rights could be rolled back.

The bill protecting same-sex marriage will force Senate Republicans, some of whom have declined to disclose how they will vote, to put them on the record. 

This is a developing story.

Melissa Quinn contributed to this report.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.