Main | Friday, March 27, 2015

Eleven Senate Republicans Vote For Benefits For Married Same-Sex Couples

Chris Geidner reports at Buzzfeed:
Eleven Senate Republicans joined with all of the Democrats on Thursday night in supporting an amendment to guarantee equal Social Security and veterans benefits to married same-sex couples — even if they live in a state that does not recognize such marriages. The vote was one of many, nonbinding Senate votes of a broad range of hot-button issues for a budget that might not even pass the upper chamber.

Nonetheless, the vote gives rare insight into the potential changes going on within the Republican Party on the marriage issue in advance of the coming Supreme Court decision widely expected to hold that bans on same-sex couples’ marriages are unconstitutional. Six of the 11 Republicans voting for the measure are up for re-election in 2016.

The amendment, proposed by Sen. Brian Schatz, addressed the fact that both Social Security and some provisions of veterans’ benefits are, by statute, provided to spouses on the basis of whether a couple’s marriage is recognized by the state in which they live. The amendment would provide for benefits for spouses for all married same-sex couples, regardless of where they live.
Also voting "yes" was Sen. Joe Manchin (WV), the lone Senate Democrat yet to endorse same-sex marriage. Hit the link for the list of Republicans.

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