That is probably not sufficient for many Senate Republicans, who’re anticipated to have a competing modification on spiritual exemptions to same-sex marriage protections courtesy of Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah). Solely three GOP senators are firmly backing the invoice and it’s removed from clear, regardless of expectations of success, {that a} complete of 10 will emerge.

Proper now nobody is aware of “the precise reply” as to whether the same-sex marriage measure can overcome a filibuster, Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) stated Thursday, including that GOP management has but to formally depend the votes. He signaled the place he’s leaning: “If it’s what I believe it’s going to be, I’m most likely a no.”

If Baldwin and Collins can’t break a Republican filibuster with their spiritual freedom pitch, it could mark a shocking turnaround from a July vote that noticed 47 Home GOP lawmakers in favor. It might additionally hand Democrats a potent preelection instance of the GOP blocking laws on a problem that’s broadly widespread with the general public. However just one Republican incumbent, Wisconsin’s Ron Johnson, is poised to really feel a lot of a sting from wavering on the invoice, and he’s indicated he would vote no on the present model.

Home Democrats, who drafted and handed the unique invoice designed to jot down same-sex marriage into legislation, are intently watching the Senate’s potential modifications. And plenty of don’t anticipate points with any new language, so long as it’s negotiated and accredited by Baldwin.

The Home initially handed the same-sex marriage invoice in late July, considered one of a number of payments that Democrats took up after the Supreme Court docket’s ruling overturning Roe v. Wade featured a concurring opinion by Justice Clarence Thomas that straight questioned different privacy-related rights, together with same-sex marriage.

In a shock to even Home Democrats who drafted the invoice, nearly 50 House Republicans finally supported codifying the rights to each same-sex marriage and interracial marriage. That unexpectedly giant margin of assist shortly fueled momentum throughout the Capitol, the place Senate Democrats, led by Baldwin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) started working to safe sufficient GOP votes to ship the invoice to President Joe Biden’s desk.

But to this point, solely three Republicans — Sens. Rob Portman if Ohio, Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Collins — have dedicated to voting for the invoice, with Tillis breaking from his gun-safety accomplice Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) on the matter. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) has spoken positively of it and helps same-sex marriage, however hasn’t stated formally that she’ll be a sure.

And there hasn’t been a lot public motion on the invoice because the Home handed it this summer time. In interviews Thursday, a number of Senate Republicans, together with Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Roy Blunt of Missouri, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Chuck Grassley of Iowa, all stated they’d no updates on their place, with a number of saying they wanted to overview the ultimate textual content.

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) stated he’s at the moment working with the invoice’s proponents on the spiritual liberty component, “and we’ll see whether or not we make adequate progress or not.”

Within the meantime, many Republicans are dismissing the laws as pointless, arguing that the Supreme Court docket isn’t anticipated to overturn its 2015 ruling enshrining same-sex marriage into legislation. Democrats counter that few thought the excessive courtroom would overturn Roe till weeks earlier than it did so this summer time.

And Democrats see a political upside to squeezing Republicans on one other social concern, with latest polling demonstrating that the tip of Roe is anticipated to juice their voters’ turnout forward of the midterms. That facet doesn’t thrill Senate Republicans, a few of whom are skeptical that the invoice will finally get the votes to interrupt a filibuster.

“I don’t see 10 Republicans,” stated Cornyn, a former GOP whip and a detailed adviser to Minority Chief Mitch McConnell. “I assume if folks have been inclined to assist it, they’d have already declared in assist of it.”

The identical-sex marriage vote would be the first time in years that the Senate takes up standalone laws associated to LGBTQ rights. The latest high-profile vote got here in 2013, when the Senate handed laws to ban employment discrimination based mostly on sexual orientation or gender identification. Whereas the invoice finally failed within the Home, it acquired assist from 10 Republicans, together with Collins, Murkowski, Portman and Toomey.

Proponents of the present same-sex marriage invoice observe that public opinion on the matter has modified drastically, particularly because the 1996 passage of Senate laws that outlined marriage as occurring solely between a person and a girl. That invoice, handed on an 85-14 vote, was signed into legislation by former President Invoice Clinton. (The Supreme Court docket eventually struck down a key provision that barred the federal authorities from offering marriage-related advantages for same-sex {couples}.)

The intervening years have seen a number of Republican senators weigh in on LGBTQ-related instances, nevertheless. In 2017, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) led 10 convention colleagues in submitting a Supreme Court amicus brief siding with a Colorado baker who refused to make a customized cake for a same-sex couple, citing his spiritual beliefs.

Tillis stated that bipartisan negotiators plan to work by the weekend to finalize the textual content of the spiritual freedom modification.

“All people’s asking me, ‘Have you ever acquired commitments?’ and I say, ‘Look, if any individual involves me and desires a dedication, they should [nail] down the textual content’,” Tillis stated. When requested if he thought 10 Republicans would finally assist the hassle, the North Carolina Republican demurred: “It actually is determined by how we get the ultimate language proper.”

Sarah Ferris and Josh Gerstein contributed to this report.

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