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Blumenthal pushes for vote on marriage equality bill

“Your right to marry the person you love ought to be a priority in the remaining days of this session,” he said Monday.

HARTFORD, Conn. — Congress headed back into session Monday with some midterm election results still up in the air.

Lawmakers are now looking to accomplish as much as possible before the end of the year and one of those priorities for Connecticut's senators is marriage equality.

RELATED: Democrats keep Senate majority as GOP push falters in Nevada

After a blue victory in Nevada this weekend, Democrats will retain their control of the U.S. Senate, easing a bit of pressure for this lame-duck session.

The party still trying to get its agenda in order, but as U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) explained Monday, he’s trying to make marriage equality top of that list.

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“Your right to marry the person you love ought to be a priority in the remaining days of this session,” he said at a press conference outside the Hartford Gay & Lesbian Health Collective.

Blumenthal pushed for the Senate to vote on the “Respect For Marriage Act.”

RELATED: House passes same-sex marriage bill in retort to Supreme Court

The bill–passed by the U.S. House in July–would codify same-sex and interracial marriage protections into federal law.

Currently, both are only protected through Supreme Court rulings, something advocates say is at risk with the overturning of Roe V. Wade.

“I was petrified,” said former West Hartford deputy mayor Beth Kerrigan. “I was and still am scared that rights can be given and then taken away.”

Kerrigan played a key role in the legalization of same-sex marriage in Connecticut. She and her wife were the lead plaintiffs in the Supreme Court case against the state to grant them a marriage license.

The case made Connecticut the third state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage.

“I think because we're in Connecticut, we feel safer,” said Kerrigan’s wife Jody Mock.

“This is scary, scary times, for us, for our family, for the whole nation,” Kerrigan added.

Despite retaining a majority in the Senate, Democrats are facing an uncertain future in the House, as control is still undecided.

The party did avoid a Republican blow-out. Monday, Blumenthal credited campaign points like abortion and marriage equality.

“The red wave is still at sea,” he said. “It never came ashore because Americans rejected the efforts to roll back rights.”

Blumenthal is calling for a vote on this bill before the end of the year.

When asked what the timeline could look like, he said they’re just a few votes away from the 60 needed and added post-election, he believes passage is “more than possible.”

Emma Wulfhorst is a political reporter for FOX61 News. She can be reached at ewulfhorst@fox61.com. Follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram


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