WASHINGTON, D.C. (WHNT) — The U.S. Senate passed the “Respect for Marriage Act” Tuesday — moving ahead with federal protections for same-sex and interracial marriage.

The 61-39 vote saw 12 Republicans join with Senate Democrats to send the legislation to the House, and later President Biden’s desk; however, neither one of Alabama’s U.S. senators voted in favor of the measure.

News 19 reached out to both Sens. Richard Shelby, who will retire from office in January, and Tommy Tuberville.

Tuberville released a statement before the legislation was voted on, saying, “The issue of same-sex marriage has already been decided by the Supreme Court.”

“Not only is this legislation unnecessary, it fails to protect constitutional religious liberties the Court has reaffirmed for all Americans,” the statement continued. “For those reasons, I do not support this legislation and do not believe further federal action is necessary.”

A spokesperson for Tuberville’s office told News 19 that “several amendments that would have improved the bill by preserving Americans’ constitutional religious freedoms” were voted on tonight, and Tuberville voted in favor of those. However, those amendments failed and were not added.

Sen. Shelby’s office did not reply to News 19’s request for a statement; however, Shelby states his position on marriage on his Senate website.

I believe that marriage was created as a sacred union between one man and one woman, and we must do all within our power to protect it.

Therefore, in light of a number of recent Supreme Court decisions, I support a constitutional amendment that would strictly define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.


To see the bill’s full text and learn how each Senator voted, click here.