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The US Senate has approved a groundbreaking bill to protect same-sex and interracial marriage in federal law on 29 November.

Same-sex marriage was legalised in 2015 when the Supreme Court ruled that a previous law defining marriage as between a man and a woman was unconstitutional.

There has been a movement within the US to enshrine decisions in federal law following the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

Roe v. Wade established access to abortion as a constitutional right, but was overturned by the conservative majority in the Supreme Court.

Multiple states have since limited abortion access.

This ranged from ‘trigger laws’ being put in place while abortion was a constitutional right to immediately limit access to abortion upon Roe v. Wade being overturned.

It has been suggested that conservatives who disagree with same-sex marriage may attempt to overturn the 2015 decision through the Supreme Court.

This is in addition to a number of states introducing anti-LGBTQ+ bills into state law.

In Texas, at least 23 bills targeting LGBTQ+ people have been introduced this year ahead of the new legislative session beginning in January.

The Respect for Marriage Act does not require all states to legalise same-sex marriage.

It requires states to acknowledge same-sex marriage from different states and ensures federal benefits for same-sex married couples.

It also includes a ‘religious liberties’ amendment, which allows non-profit religious organisations to refuse to host same-sex weddings.

Jim Obergefell, who led the case for the national legalisation of same sex marriages, said he is ‘frustrated’ with this amendment and its failure to enforce same-sex marriages in all states.

A recent Gallup poll found 71% of Americans support same-sex marriage becoming a legal right.

The bill has now been returned to the House of Representatives, where it will need to be approved before it can be sent to President Joe Biden to be signed.

LGBTQ+ activists hope it will be signed into law before Republicans have a majority in the House of Representatives in January.