WISCONSIN — Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., signaled support for the Respect for Marriage Act that would codify same-sex marriage.
“Prior to the Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court decision on gay marriage, I supported civil unions,” Johnson said in the statement. “After Obergefell, I considered the issue settled.”
The House of Representatives on Tuesday voted to pass a bill protecting the right to same-sex marriage nationwide, a rebuke to the Supreme Court amid concerns that the justices may revisit certain landmark rulings after overturning Roe v. Wade.
In a concurring opinion to last month’s ruling, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that the high court “should consider” a number of other key rulings, including Obergefell v. Hodges, which guaranteed the right for same-sex couples to marry, and Griswold v. Connecticut, which protects the right of marital privacy against state restrictions on contraception.
“In future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell,” Thomas wrote. “Because any substantive due process decision is ‘demonstrably erroneous’ … we have a duty to ‘correct the error’ established in those precedents.”
In response, a group of bipartisan lawmakers introduced the Respect for Marriage Act, which would codify marriage equality rights into law and repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, a 1996 law that defined marriage as between one man and one woman and allowed states to refuse same-sex marriages performed legally in other states. The provisions of the law were rendered inert by the Supreme Court in Obergefell and 2013’s United States v. Windsor.
“Unlike Roe v. Wade, I do not see any scenario in which the Supreme Court would overturn Obergefell. The Respect for Marriage Act is another example of Democrats creating a state of fear over an issue in order to further divide Americans for their political benefit,” Johnson added. “Even though I feel the Respect for Marriage Act is unnecessary, should it come before the Senate, I see no reason to oppose it.”
On Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said that he wants to bring the bill to the Senate floor for a vote and is looking to see if it has enough Republican support to pass.
"I want to bring this bill to the floor and we're working to get the necessary Republican support to ensure it will pass," Schumer said.
Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, told CNN they will support the same-sex marriage bill. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska and Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., told CNN they will "likely" support the bill.