While bills advancing voting rights and LGBTQ protections have been held up by the filibuster, 12 Republicans joined all 50 Democrats to advance a bill that provides some marriage protections.
This was a clear and easily understood analysis. It will help me explain this vote to family members. Thanks.
This law still relies on the marriage being valid at the state level, so if a state bans same sex marriage, then this law would do nothing to protect same sex marriages in that state
What prevents SCOTUS from overriding this bill as unconstitutional on some basis (or none)?
While I am very happy that there has been a significant shift in the public's and politicians' attitudes regarding marriage equality, I do not agree with your implied assumption that this shift is necessarily good news concerning the right's (and much of the left's) war against transgender people. The dominant culture - including a good number of cisgender gay people - does not view "gay" marriage and transgender equity as related or similar concerns. That connection is primarily made only by the most hateful elements of the right, who view even the slightest variation from "traditional" binary gender roles as abhorrent. So while this shift is progress, it should in no way be considered an indication that the current non-partisan, unrelenting and increasing hostility towards transgender people is abating.