The United States Senate on Tuesday passed a Bill to protect legal recognition of same-sex marriages, Reuters reported.

Sixty-one senators – including 49 Democrats and 12 Republicans – voted in favour of the Bill, while 36 voted against it.

The proposed law, the Respect for Marriage Act, would require the federal government and all states to accord recognition to all same-sex marriages that were legal when they were performed, the Associated Press reported. It would not, however, make it mandatory for states to allow same-sex marriages.

The Bill was passed amid worries that the Supreme Court could overturn a 2015 decision that legalised such marriages nationwide.

“Today’s bipartisan Senate passage of the Respect for Marriage Act proves our nation is on the brink of reaffirming a fundamental truth: love is love,” United States President Joe Biden tweeted. “I look forward to the House passing this legislation and sending it to my desk, where I will proudly sign it into law.”

On June 24, the US Supreme Court had overturned the landmark 1973 Roe versus Wade ruling that had made abortion a constitutional right.

According to the 1973 verdict, abortions were allowed up till the point of foetal viability, or the time period during which a foetus can survive outside the womb. At that time, foetal viability was considered to be at 28 weeks, but experts now believe that the point could now be brought down to between 22-24 weeks given advances in science and medicine.

In a concurring opinion, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas had written that the court should consider reversing other decisions, including the 2015 ruling on same-sex marriage, according to Reuters.