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Chuck Schumer labels Republicans who oppose same-sex marriage bill as ‘MAGA’ extremists

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer tore through the GOP’s opposition to the codification of same-sex marriage and invoked the same harsh rhetoric on President Joe Biden’s controversial spate of attacks against “MAGA Republicans.”

The House of Representatives returned from summer recess on Monday after passing the Respect for Marriage Act in mid-July.

Senators now have about three weeks until another week-long state work period, during which they will leave the US Capitol to follow suit.

Same-sex marriage is already legal in all 50 states after the landmark Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges overturned the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996.

But the legislative push comes amid Democrats’ concerns that the Supreme Court and Republican-led state lawmakers could violate more privacy rights following the Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe v. Wade in June.

“Some Republicans say, oh, this isn’t necessary, it’s not going to happen. Remember, that’s the same thing they said about Roe, and look where we are now,” Schumer said on the Senate floor Monday.

“We must protect marriage equality now, well before the MAGA-controlled Supreme Court intervenes.”

He said last Wednesday, just after the Senate returned to session: “Let’s remember why a vote on respect for marriage [Act] is necessary.

Millions and millions of American women were disenfranchised by the extremist MAGA Supreme Court in the Dobbs decision. And in a unanimous opinion, Judge Thomas opened the door for the Supreme Court to go even further.’

Judge Samuel Alito’s controversial Supreme Court majority opinion, which rocked the landscape of women’s health overnight for millions, specified that the only privacy right in question was abortion.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer promised a vote on marriage equality would take place 'in the coming weeks'

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer promised a vote on marriage equality would take place ‘in the coming weeks’

Democrats in the Senate need 10 Republicans to vote for the measure, too, for it to have a chance of success

Democrats in the Senate need 10 Republicans to vote for the measure, too, for it to have a chance of success

Democrats in the Senate need 10 Republicans to vote for the measure, too, for it to have a chance of success

But in a separate, unanimous opinion, Judge Clarence Thomas suggested the Supreme Court could then review landmark rulings legalizing LGBTQ relationships and access to contraceptives for married couples.

As of Sept. 12, abortions have been largely banned in at least a dozen states, while partisan battles continue over the medical procedure in more states.

Democrats have responded with legislation codifying protections that Thomas suggested were on the chopping block.

Schumer promised that marriage equality would be voted on “in the coming weeks.”

In another jab at Republican lawmakers who rolled back abortion rights as they spoke on the Senate floor Monday, Schumer said: “At a time when our rights are under siege, it would be a much-needed shield for dozens of Americans at risk of discrimination, simply because of who they love.’

But it is not yet certain that Schumer would share the House Democrats’ success in passing the bill.

Democrats rush to protect privacy rights they believe are under threat after Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade.  destroyed

Democrats rush to protect privacy rights they believe are under threat after Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade.  destroyed

Democrats rush to protect privacy rights they believe are under threat after Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade. destroyed

It takes sixty votes to overcome a filibuster and pass the legislation, meaning the New York Democrat needs 10 Republicans to get down the aisle.

A bipartisan bill in the Senate gives some hope to progressive groups — the main sponsors are GOP Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and Democrat Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin.

Conservatives like Texas Sen. Ted Cruz have vowed to oppose the bill.

To try and allay Republicans’ concerns, Collins and Baldwin vowed to add an amendment protecting “religious freedom.”

“Religious freedom is a tenet of our republic, and the Respect for Marriage Act respects that principle,” lawmakers wrote in a Washington Post op-ed.

“We recognize that some may need more clarity on this point, which is why we’ve been working with our Senate colleagues to develop clarifying language for the legislation that makes clear what the Respect for Marriage Act wouldn’t do – it won’t take it taking away or altering any religious liberty or protection of conscience.”

sen.  Tammy Baldwin

sen.  Tammy Baldwin

sen.  Susan Collins

sen.  Susan Collins

Sens. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, urged Republicans to join the Respect for Marriage Act

It’s not yet clear how many GOP lawmakers will do that, but Republicans from outside Capitol Hill also support the bill.

More than 400 current or former Republican officials signed a letter Monday supporting marriage equality, the Post reported.

That includes Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, Donald Trump-backed Pennsylvania Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz, and George W. Bush’s daughter, Barbara.

“As Republicans and conservatives, we believe that strong families and lasting relationships strengthen communities, and civil marriage is a fundamental freedom that is central to individual freedom and the pursuit of happiness,” the letter states.

“Passing the Respect for Marriage Act will remove all uncertainty for the more than one million Americans who are building families, taking on the responsibilities and commitments associated with marriage, and caring for those they love.”

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