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WASHINGTON (Nexstar) – A bill to protect same-sex and interracial marriages cleared a key vote in the Senate. Now, the bill appears to be on track to becoming law before the end of 2022.

Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), the bill’s main sponsor and first openly gay member of the Senate, says millions of Americans are living in fear saying they are “scared that the rights they rely upon to protect their families could be taken away.”

Democrats say the Supreme Court could strip away marriage equality court protections like it did with abortion.

“A few right-wing judges who seem to think that they know best want to overturn it and they’re wrong,” Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) said.

The Respect for Marriage Act would ensure same-sex and interracial marriages are legally recognized federally and across state lines. However, the act would not force states to issue marriage licenses that contradict state laws.

Supporters of the bill added an amendment to protect religious institutions.

Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) said “this is very important to many of the religious organizations we’ve dealt with who are strongly supporting this legislation.”

That amendment was key to getting the 60 votes needed to clear the procedural Senate vote.

The bill still needs to pass one final vote in the Senate and will need to pass again in the House before the president signs it into law.