COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) — Federal lawmakers are one step closer to protecting same-sex and interracial marriage across the country.

This week, the US Senate voted 61-36 to pass the ‘Respect for Marriage Act. South Carolina Senators Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham voted against the legislation.

On Twitter, Senator Graham said the bill lacked protections for religious liberties.

The original bill was introduced in the House in July to codify same-sex and interracial marriage protections in federal law.

This was done following the overturning of Roe v. Wade and the suggestion by Justice Clarence Thomas that the US Supreme Court revisit some decisions.

One of those cases was Obergefell v. Hodges. In that decision, justices ruled that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples in the Constitution.

Savannah Brown and her wife Alex got married in 2019. Brown said the law few months have been filled with uncertainty but the Senate’s vote has provided some relief for her family.

Brown said, “We have children. I’m just a normal person with two children. I stay home with them they’re the center of our world. Our marriage is the unit of protection we provide for them.”

Palmetto Family Council President and Executive Director Dave Wilson are concerned about the impact the federal legislation could have on religious institutions in South Carolina.

Wilson said, “When you begin to take a civil union and put a label on top of that as marriage then you’re really undercutting the foundation of the first amendment which is freedom of religion, and a cornerstone of our society.”

A poll released by Winthrop University earlier this month shows 56% of respondents in South Carolina believe same-sex marriages should be recognized by law as valid.

The ‘Respect for Marriage Act’ is now headed back to the House where it is expected to pass and be sent to the President’s desk before the end of the year.