A bill that would provide federal protection to same-sex marriages cleared a crucial hurdle in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday. Twelve Republican senators voted to advance the bill—enough to remove the possibility of a filibuster.
The 62–37 vote sets up the Respect for Marriage Act to easily pass the Senate in the coming days, likely ensuring that the bill will make it to President Joe Biden's desk before the end of the lame-duck session and before Republicans take control of the House of Representatives in January. The bill passed the House in July with broad bipartisan support.
NEWS: 62-37, Senate votes to defeat a filibuster and advance the Respect For Marriage Act to codify federal protections for same-sex marriage.
This puts it on a glide path to passage.
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) November 16, 2022
Wednesday's vote was not merely a procedural victory for the bill, but a signal about the shifting cultural norms surrounding same-sex marriage that have finally filtered their way into the political realm. As Reason's Scott Shackford explained earlier this week:
Same-sex marriage recognition is legal across the United States, but it's the result of two Supreme Court decisions: United States v. Windsor from 2013, and Obergefell v. Hodges from 2015. The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), passed by Congress in 1996 and signed by then-President Bill Clinton, prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriages performed by states. Even though it's unenforceable, it's still currently on the books.
Cut that '90s nostalgia. In about a quarter century, we've gone from having a Democratic president sign a bipartisan bill to ban federal recognition of same-sex marriage to having a dozen Republican senators back an effort to permanently ensure equal protections under federal law for same-sex unions. That's not a huge surprise if you pay attention to the polling—seven in 10 Americans believe same-sex marriage should be legal, according to Gallup—but it still represents a significant moment in the political fight to advance liberty.
Sen. Mitt Romney (R–Utah), one of the dozen Republicans to support the bill in Wednesday's vote, said in a statement that it "provides important protections for religious liberty."
"While I believe in traditional marriage, Obergefell is and has been the law of the land upon which LGBTQ individuals have relied," Romney said in that statement. "This legislation provides certainty to many LGBTQ Americans, and it signals that Congress—and I—esteem and love all of our fellow Americans equally."
The cloture vote on the motion to proceed on the bill that codifies the right to same-sex marriage and interracial marriage passes with support from 12 Republicans:
— Grace Segers (@Grace_Segers) November 16, 2022
Though, as Shackford notes, the expected passage of the Respect for Marriage Act will not be the final say in this matter (nothing in politics ever is). The bill provides federal legal protections to same-sex marriages performed in states where such unions are legal, and forces other states to recognize legal out-of-state marriages, but it does not prevent states from setting their own rules about who can get married.
NASA's Artemis I mission is still on its way to the moon and is expected to arrive on Monday. After that, it will spend roughly four weeks orbiting the moon before a planned return to Earth.
There are no astronauts on this mission, but that doesn't mean the Orion spacecraft is traveling empty. In addition to a Snoopy plushie, a few Lego astronaut figurines, and a couple of manikins, Space.com reports that it is also carrying tech that will be used to scan the moon's surface for water and yeast cells that scientists hope will yield some clues about the potential damage caused by long-term exposure to radiation in space. And, dare we hope, maybe will make for a really interesting beer.
Check out the latest issue of Reason for more about the moon mission, mankind's perpetual fascination with the stars, and the human ingenuity that's allowed us to reach out there.
Upside Foods is the first lab-grown-meat company to get the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stamp of approval, but don't expect to find some at your local grocery store anytime soon. Wired reports:
There are just two smaller regulatory steps remaining until cultivated meat can be made available to the public. Upside's production facilities still require a grant of inspection from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the food itself will need a mark of inspection before it can enter the US market. These two steps are likely to be completed much more quickly than the long FDA premarket consultation process that resulted in the approval.…
The FDA decision means that cultivated meat products may soon be available to the public to try, although it's likely that tastings will be limited to a very small number of exclusive restaurants. Michelin-starred chef Dominique Crenn has already announced that she will serve Upside Foods' cultivated chicken at her restaurant Atelier Crenn in San Francisco.
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• Even by the standards of stadium subsidy deals, what New York City Mayor Eric Adams is planning for the city's Major League Soccer franchise might be one of the most insane giveaways ever:
Mayor Adams wants to take city land, do maybe $300m of work to improve it, give it to a soccer team owned by oil billionaires who wouldn't pay taxes, and collect $30m in rent in exchange. There's no math by which this anything but blows for city taxpayers. https://t.co/LO8mPy6H61
— Field of Schemes (@fieldofschemes) November 17, 2022