Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin, a
Democrat, has predicted passage in the Senate of a bill that protects
Baldwin, who is openly gay, told
CNN that she believes there is enough GOP support for the Respect
for Marriage Act to clear the Senate.
The House approved the measure on
Tuesday with the support of 47 Republicans. The bill was first
introduced in 2009 by New York Representative Jerrold Nadler, a
Democrat. Nadler said that it was important to codify the Supreme
Court's marriage equality opinion in Obergefell after it
struck down Roe v. Wade, which like Obergefell was
based on the right to privacy.
endorses Jim Obergefell for Ohio House.)
In a statement released Thursday,
Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson said that he sees “no reason to
oppose” the bill if it comes up for a vote, making him the fifth
GOP senator to express support. Ten Republicans are needed in the
Senate to approve legislation backed by all Democrats.
Johnson's comments came after Florida
Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican, described the bill as a “stupid
waste of time.” Rubio is generally opposed to LGBTQ rights,
including marriage equality.
The Respect for Marriage Act repeals
the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a law that prohibited the federal
government from recognizing the legal marriages of gay and lesbian
couples. The Supreme Court struck down DOMA in 2013. The Respect for
Marriage Act also requires states to recognize the marriages of
same-sex couples performed in different states.