RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — In the coming weeks, the U.S. Senate is expected to vote on legislation that would protect same sex marriage.

When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the Dobbs case, that overturned Roe v. Wade, Justice Clarence Thomas suggested that the court’s ruling on Obergefell v. Hodges may warrant a second look.

The U.S. House quickly moved to pass the Respect for Marriage Act. It received bipartisan approval at 267-157. But North Carolina’s contingency voted along party lines with no support from Republicans.

For the bill to pass in the senate there needs to be 60 ‘yeas’, which means Democrats need Republicans on board.

Republican North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis told CBS 17’s Russ Bowen he continues to support the bill’s passage. 

“I’ve indicated I would support the measure, I’ve been in the negotiation process, we have made major strides in terms of insuring religious freedom protections, and I believe we’ve got a bill that strikes the right balance and I’m looking forward to supporting it,” said Tillis.

This is a striking reversal from Tillis’s previous position. Ten years ago, as the then Speaker of the North Carolina House, Tillis helped lead an effort for a state constitutional amendment that banned same-sex marriage and civil unions. Tillis explained his decade long evolution.

“One is that now there’s nearly a million people who are in same sex marriages who are reliant on some constancy. They reacted when the Supreme Court made the decision and we can’t tear apart spouses, we can’t tear apart spouses with families and we have to recognize that their condition is something that has changed dramatically since 10 years ago,” Tills said.

Some Republicans have suggested that it should be left up to individual states. Tillis disagrees.

“You have to think about a couple that I know in North Carolina that have been in a civil union. Do we really want to say that we’ll recognize it in your state, but you may not be able to travel to some number of other states, a patchwork of different policies. This is something that I think has to be consistent across the United States,” he said.

The legislation would also address other SCOTUS decisions including the protection of interracial marriages as well as prohibiting states from not recognizing a marriage “on the basis of the sex, race, ethnicity, or national origin of those individuals.”

Republican NC Senator Richard Burr has not yet said how he will vote.