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Senate Democrats push gay marriage vote to after midterms

Senate Democrats have decided to push the vote to codify gay marriage via the Respect for Marriage Act until after the midterm elections in November, in hopes of garnering enough Republican support to ensure the bill's passage, The New York Times reports. Democrats had originally planned to vote on the bill this coming Monday.

"I'm still very confident that the bill will pass, but we will be taking the bill up later, after the election," said chief sponsor Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.). Despite her comments, it's still a toss-up whether the bill will advance, considering it requires a bipartisan 60 votes. Some Republicans have raised concerns about how the legislation might affect religious institutions, business owners, and those who oppose same sex marriage, The Associated Press reports.

The push to codify gay marriage arrives after the Supreme Court in June overturned landmark abortion ruling Roe v. Wade (1973). In a concurring opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas called for the re-evaluation of Obergefell v. Hodges (2015), the ruling that granted constitutional protection for gay marriage. Research has shown that American support for gay marriage increased, but even so, Republicans are split on the issue.

Some Democrats are angry about the decision to push the vote, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who said "every single member of Congress should be willing to go on the record" and those who don't want to vote "are on the wrong side of history."

Meanwhile, those in favor of the delay hope it will provide time to garner GOP support and reduce pre-election political pressure.