ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The U.S. Senate passed a bill on Tuesday, to protect same-sex and interracial marriage, in a landmark vote.

This follows months of bipartisan negotiations, moving the bill one step closer to federal law.

The proposal would put into law, protections for same-sex marriages that were initially handed down by the Supreme Court in 2015. These are protections some fear would be lost, following the high court’s recent decision to overturn Roe V Wade.

“It’s a start but its not the end,” said Andrew Moran, President of Rochester Out Alliance.

Moran said the news is important, but even in 2022, many are fearful of losing rights.

On one hand, I’m glad that we have this step towards protecting our rights going forward, and that we do have some bipartisan support on it,” said Moran. “Of course it isn’t going to fully protect everything as it is right now.”

The law would not legalize gay marriage in all states. Instead, requires those states to recognize legal marriage, as it occurs in other states.

Assemblymember Harry Bronson said he’s the only openly gay member in the state legislature outside of New York City. He’s fought hard for marriage equality to pass here in New York State, in 2011.

“This is certainly a good step forward for our country, and our LGBTQ community. It doesn’t go as far as I would’ve like it to go, but it is a really good start,” said Bronson.

He says it’s imporatnt Congress is doing this, especially following the high court’s decisions to overturn Roe V. Wade.

“There were other issues that they would be looking at, and gay marriage was one of them,” said Bronson.

Bronson and Moran said they’re both thankful, but hoping for a broader codification someday, in all states.

“It’s sad that we are here, we have to be in this defensive position,” said Moran.

After the House passed the bill with the backing of 47 Republicans, Democrats in the upper chamber pushed to do the same before midterm elections, but were unable to win the 10 votes needed from Senate Republicans.

Those republicans, argue a need for more religious freedom protections.

A bipartisan group of five senators leading the charge for the legislation – crafted an amendment that ultimately persuaded enough Republicans to support the broader bill.

The bill now heads to the House for a second time, to approve the Senate’s version of this bill, and could be voted on as soon as next Tuesday.