SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — The U.S. is now one step closer to federally protecting same-sex and interracial marriage.

Sixty-one senators voted in support of the bill including 12 members of the Republican party, one of which was Joni Ernst (R-Iowa).

The bill will not require states to individually legalize same-sex and interracial marriages but it will require them to recognize legal marriages from other states. The co-founder of the Siouxland Pride Alliance told KCAU 9 that the bill helps solidify the 2015 Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriages in the U.S.

“Now, really, all relationships are equal. There aren’t going to be any that a state or the supreme court can make lesser than. All marriages are respected, regardless of what state they were in. And that is an important thing,” said Karen Mackey of Siouxland Pride Alliance.

Iowa’s supreme court legalized same-sex marriage in 2009, it was the third state to do so in the nation.

The Respect for Marriage Act now heads to the U.S. House of Representatives, where a vote is expected sometime next week.